Hit and Run

by Jim Daniels
Daniels. Birth Marks. Hit and Run
The girl was crossing the street, birthday cake in hand. The bus against the curb blocked traffic. My daughter dances three nights a week with graceful insects—level three, purple leotards. Last night playing softball in the park, I leaned against the fence where the girl's friends left flowers. You will never be forgotten, the scrawled sign read. I was dropping my daughter off at dance that night right after the accident. Body parts strewn across the road in front of the studio. Even the police looked stricken. I swerved around them, kept going. My daughter claims she closed her eyes and saw nothing. At softball, I eyed the frayed flowers, the plaintive sign streaked by rain. Liquid life goes on, and everyone is forgotten. I was 2 for 3 and made a nice play at second. I cannot tell you the final score. I cannot tell you who that birthday cake was for, splattered amid the gore. The ritual singing of sirens. The other team had some asshole pitching, whining about every call. Old guy my age who should've known better than to care: Ball. Strike. Safe. Out. Who cares? Nobody got hurt— at our age, isn't that enough, oh worthy opponent? A severed leg in the road. You can still see the imperfect yellow circles drawn by police, fading. Oh, dancing daughter. Watch me make a catch. Watch me run the bases. Open your eyes, girl.