She was from Chicago
spoke with the broad vowels of the Midwest
perhaps as balance to diminutive physique
the voice was large, and travelled ahead.
All her life had spent by The Great Lakes
Michigan, by spirit, and birth – home was Saginaw.
I could never hear the song America
without her and a Greyhound bus coming to mind.
She worked in the Windy City for a large bank
brash I suppose but,
with all the confidence was sadness.
She had been a gymnast, talented
going nowhere but up – the very top maybe.
One day a shutter click of inattention
a shattered pelvis
and severe internal injuries,
her days on the high beam over. Forever.
Showing off she said, one eye watching people,
A heavy blow
but it wasn’t all bad
back to school and qualifications in law and finance.
Things were good now, gymnastics gone
but she had become a baseball fan – diehard.
When she made it clear
she and I would not be playing any games
I told her
I couldn’t expect a home run, every time I came to bat.
“That’s right,” she drawled
“you’re not even on the team.”