Softball Follies

It happened in an instant, but the pain has lasted for months.

I watched as it went down, the yellow ball flung toward the plate.

Her arm reached out and caught the ball but then the collision.

She went down hard and I panicked as she has a surgically repaired knee.

I rushed in from shortstop and hovered over her: is it your knee?

No, she said. I can’t move my shoulder. Fractured in three places.

Two months later she’s in PT and doing well, mobility coming back.

Last Sunday I was at first and dove after a ball, put myself in the path of the runner and we both went down hard.

As he lay there in the dirt I was paralyzed by fear; was he hurt?

He got up and looked at me; was that necessary, he seemed to ask?

It wasn’t. But in that instant I made a choice and it wasn’t the right one.

No one wants to get injured playing a game. No one wants to be the cause.

I felt terrible the rest of the evening, and when we crossed paths at the end of each inning I couldn’t hide my shame.

I hope he’ll be okay.

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