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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 12: March 2022
Haibun: 232 words
By Keith Polette



Crouched behind the plate, I catch the curveball from the pitcher, a gangly fellow on the mound swaying back and forth like a cattail in a strong wind. I notice that the runner on first has taken off towards second. I pop up, my face caged, my arm cocked, ready to throw to the shortstop who’s covering the bag. I feel the ball in my grip, the raised red stitches, the cool cowhide covering. And then I realize that I’m not holding a baseball at all, but a bird, a mourning dove to be precise. The world has become a rabbit hole, and I am standing in the middle of a field where anything is possible, where nothing is predictable. It occurs to me that I’ll have to accept what is given, remembering the times that I had to eat bologna and fake cheese on white bread because that was all we could afford (maybe one reason why I no longer eat meat). But then, I realize, of course, that this is different. (The runner from first is now half-way to second.) So, I decide not to play this game any longer. I toss the bird into the air, throw down my mask, drop my glove, and take off down the line, my mind squarely set on stealing third.

all-star game
the ninth inning nothing
but a meteor shower

Keith Polette
Issue 12, March 2022

lives and writes in El Paso, Texas. He is the author of a book of haiku, The New World (Red Moon Press, 2017), and a collection of haibun, Pilgrimage (Red Moon Press, 2020).

His photo-haiku have appeared in Daily Haiga and Under the Basho, and his haibun in Akitsu Quarterly, Chrysanthemum, contemporary haibun online, Drifting Sands Haibun, Frogpond, The Haibun Journal, Haibun Today, The Other Bunny, Presence, Prune Juice, and Sonic Boom.

His poetry has been published in numerous venues, including The Esthetic Apostle, Eunoia Review, The Limberlost Review, One Sentence Poems, Orphic Lute, Otoliths, The Offbeat, the Peeking Cat Anthology, The Piedmont Literary Review, Rendezvous, Samisdat, Sky Island Journal, Sonic Boom, Shot Glass Review, and Typishly.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Pilgrimage, haibun by Keith Polette in contemporary haibun online (16:2, August 2020)

[abandoned diner], photo-haiku in Daily Haiga (16 October 2018).

[rooted in ice], photo-haiku in Daily Haiga (29 October 2017).

[woodshop], photo-haiku in Daily Haiga (6 January 2020).

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