Mercy Rule

Maximilian Heinegg


Eleven runs behind, rugged
mothers pillory the ump
for low, dusty strikes. 

Their pitcher’s half a foot taller, 
hurling brimstone to the only girl
in armor on the diamond. 

Pre-teen cleats petrify, 
seven ponytails swing
a dark assent at each coup de grace.

When we score a lone run, she scowls, 
a feudal lord ready to burn
a village over a poached deer.



Maximilian Heinegg’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming at The Cortland Review, December, Crab Creek, and Columbia Poetry Review, among others. 

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