portion of the artwork for Joe Donnelly's poetry

Playing wiffle ball with the invisible man
Joe Donnelly

Don’t be fooled by the floating glasses and cargo shorts,
He can throw smoke like the best of ’em,
Vapors of white lightning curveballs.
Calculating the physics of the hollow spheres,
He’ll crush home runs and drink a pint of vodka in the outfield,
Then he’ll pull down his pants and moon minivans.
Confused drivers barely register the transgression,
But we die with laughter as he streaks down the sidewalk,
Leaving sweaty footprints for bewildered dogwalkers.

We grew up with the invisible man,
We knew him before high school,
Before we all changed,
When we could see each other for what we were.

It’s as if he’s making up for lost time,
Making it up to us,
Feeling guilty for disappearing.

According to the scorebook,
We’re in the bottom of the ninth,
All the invisible man needs to do is hit that chair and we’re home free,
Another win for another mindless weekend.
From here we’ll go to a crappy bar in Burlington for cheap beer,
We’ll complete the comeback,
But his phone has to ring,
And his unstructured life bridges back to his ambitions,
So he talks for a minute,
Removing the glasses and shorts,
Before the game gets to end,
Slipping away to adulthood before our eyes.

Return to Archive

FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 53 | Spring/Summer 2019