He dives for the ball, body horizontal to the ground,

Glove outstretched and open like a Venus Flytrap

Seeking its flying victim, but the spherical prey eludes

The leather enemy – – – by an inch!

He swings at the splitter as it dives away from his

Wooden weapon and he strikes out, hitting nothing

But the dead air – – – by an inch!

He streaks across blades of grass, leaving no

Footprints, conscious that the color change

Means warning track approaching, and, with

The timing of a ballet dancer, leaps, but the

Well-tagged ball misses his grasp – – – by an inch!

He shuffles his feat almost undetected, bit by

Bit, timing the pitcher’s release and the catcher’s

Return . . . and then takes off, stealing second

– – – by an inch!

He, being a light hitter, chokes up on the bat, eyes

The way the fielder at the hot corner moves

To his left three steps, and then he swings, driving

The ball down the third base line and the ump

Signals, “Fair ball!” – – – by an inch!

Baseball is a game of chess but not without a bit

Of luck – – – about an inch of chance!