Clarence Wolfshohl


High Fly Mango

It was like catching the white blur
off the bat two beats before the crack –
the mango’s slap of a leaf
on its descent. That instinctive snap
of eyes upward and hands outward,
a Wille Mays snag at the waist
of freefall mango into my palms.

Letting my hands give with gravity,
inertia comforting inertia –
safe from bruise on either hand
or fruit. Safe from the sidewalk
littered already with stains
from line drive mangos, doubles
off the wall or inside the park
homers. Safe in the upswing of right
arm as if to double a runner off
second who dashed with the pitch.

I flip the yellow orb in my hand
to feel its seam, to judge its heft,
and look up into the evergreen mango’s
finger-waving leaves like fans cheering
the play.