It was bottom of the ninth, two outs,
Wally on third, Mike on second.
Jonathan, the tall right-hander,
had worked the count on me to two-and-two.
We had been ahead 4-3 after eight,
but my error in the top of the ninth
cost us two unearned runs.

I backed off from the plate to take a breath.
Jonathan had his stuff today;
he had worked the inside corner effectively,
getting me to take one and foul off another.
With one ball to give, where will he go?
I’m betting he’ll try to slip one
on the outside corner around the knees.

* * * * *

It was the day after school had let out;
Mom let me have a little party at home.
Things got a bit raucous. Billy spilled his soda;
Jackson knocked over a full bowl of popcorn.
When Mom came home, the boys left.
Mom looked around and in a soft but firm voice said:
“This is your mess; clean it up.”

* * * * *

The incident flashed through my mind;
this was my mess to clean up.
I took my stance, ready.
After his stretch and getting his signals,
Jonathan checked the runners and
I edged an inch or two closer to the plate.
The pitch was wide but waist high;
I launched it over the second baseman’s head
to right center. Wally and Mike scored;
a walk-off single.

Thanks, Mom!