by Harold Witt
The men were always taking off their shirts
to show that they had muscles sprouting hair,
sometimes sweating, bloody, streaked with dirt
the clever studio had painted there;
you didn’t have to guess what they were like—
bony boys who’d got a little older
and finally put away their childish bikes
and grown a thicker neck and wider shoulder.
The women, though, had never been mere girls
with runny noses and as flat as us
or worn those bangs, and bows in gradeschool curls—
a thrilling thing had happened to their chests
and MGM kept the secret well
that such silk legs were ever good at baseball.
Those who keep up with the “littles” know that Harold Witt’s poems are from his ambitious work-in-progress Winesburg by the Sea. (Spring 1975)