Batter Up

Cries from a bleacher 
Fan of a different stripe 
Hoots and waves
Shouts to the team

Shout and Shot easy to misspell
Hate not as easy to dispel
Hate upon a field of play
Play just for fun

Play no more, run and hide
Hide and seek metal
Metal that flies
through flesh

Flesh and blood 
Blood-stained second
Second on to third
Third straight to home run

Run for your life
Live. Love.
Pursuit of happiness.
Pledge of Allegiance.

Round the bases
Popcorn, peanuts
Hot dogs, beer 
Fans who cheer

My Country ‘Tis of Thee
Innocence lost in uncivil 
discourse, lost to ugly shouts
When shots rang out.

–Victoria Emmons, 2017


Resting on a makeshift
bench, stair steps to a porch
where imagination thrives.

In bounds. Our court, a driveway
whose lines dictate where
we can dribble, run and play.

Out of bounds. I teach you
the difference so you’ll know.

Too small to reach the hoop now,
some day you’ll make it look easy.

Tall and strong, smart and strategic
you are, my lad.

Bounce the ball to your teammate.
Keep defenders at bay. Run.
Breathe. Rest. Do it again.

Our basketball rolls into the snow,
wet, muddy and needing new air.
We play anyway in our
imaginary March Madness.

–Victoria Emmons, 2017

Dedication: This one is for you, Alex.

Cross Country


Race to find
Lost champions
Displaced colleagues
Beloved coaches

Forlorn friends
From an era gone by
Ring the sound
Of glory for the team

Ring the sound
Of glory to learn
The prize is not
The ring at all

The prize is you, my friend
The friend who loves you
Who cheers the champion
And finds the colleagues

Mourns the era gone by
Melts away 50 years
Holds the class as one
Even across country

–Victoria Emmons, 2014

(Inspired by the Robert E. Lee High School Class of 1968 whose track team won the State Cross Country Championship, never got the recognition it deserved until 2014 when a reunion was organized by fellow classmates and a champion ring was given to each member of the team.)