Sign Stealing

Daniel Romo

I know the game has passed me by
when I’m more interested in the scandal
          than the sport.
I no longer know who’s in first or last place,
but through my personal losses, I’ve learned how
to let go and lose with humility
and grace.
But today there is intrigue in the revelation that
the batters wore wires taped to their chests
beneath jerseys identifying the city
they repped.
There is disappointment in the way their bodies were
privy to each pitch
by some videoman in a hallway who buzzed them
          once for fastball,
          and twice for off speed,
a stolen code alerting to the curveballs
life throws.

                    Because knowing the velocity of an object
                    headed towards you
                    doesn’t teach you how to live during dry seasons of
                    a swing and a miss.

I will marry my fiancée in a few months
and that is a pitch I never saw coming
because even the most sophisticated
technological advances
couldn’t have alerted me
that my next at bat after my divorce
wouldn’t be the final time I was able to
spit in the ground,
dig into the box,
and stare the pitcher down as if he knew
I’d be ready.
no matter what he threw.

Daniel Romo is the author of Bum Knees and Grieving Sunsets (FlowerSong Press 2023), Moonlighting as an Avalanche (Tebot Bach 2021), Apologies in Reverse (FutureCycle Press 2019), and other books. He lives, teaches, and rides his bikes in Long Beach, CA. More at

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