Lanier Poetry student winner: “Fourth Grade Gym Class” by Chelsea Regoni

Published 10:21 am Thursday, May 2, 2013

“Fourth Grade Gym Class” by Chelsea Regoni

Consider a group of children herded
beneath the shelter of cameras. Consider

them whipped until baseball diamonds
hide blades of late November’s grass.  A mound

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of dirt.  Consider the boy named Andrew
and six children are herded behind painted

lines. They are the legs of caterpillars
waiting to be fed the dew running across

the seams of fallen baseballs. Few children
guard diamonds and a plate named home.

Many shape themselves into the field
back there in order to avoid the impact

of strike one, two, three. They made
it all up and were umpires to a game

they never wanted to play. Consider the
girl who picked up a club and tasted

the freeze of air as sphere came
rushing in and her arms swung like see-

saws. Consider the leather as it rushed toward her,
smoothing tension into the children’s breathing

and the club was lost to the feet of caterpillar
after the impact of wood against cow skin and

the tips of feet pounding against the earth.
She pressed herself into the air and

flew across diamonds before her knees
and chin tasted filth, the quiet of winning

for the first time.  Later, she will spiral the
victory around her tongue, push it against

her teeth.  She will think of Andrew and how
he crouched like a field of lions, waiting

for her to hush herself into submission.  She
will consider her arms as they reached toward Andrew.

Consider her lips as they pushed into his feet.