The Toronto pitcher, one batter away
from a no-hitter, peers in for the sign,
so close to perfection, he can taste it.
How many chances, he wonders,
do I get to go down in baseball history?

In another century, in another story,
a boat, foundering in the waters
off the rugged coastline, fights for survival.
“Why, oh God, do you tease me?” asks the sailor.

The batter sees the pitch, as large as a grapefruit,
and slaps a hard single to right.
“Why, oh God, did you tease me?” asks the pitcher.

There is always hope for the next game, the next trip,
but why must the universe be so cruel
in offering gifts of immortality and life,
only to pull them back with benign vengeance?