Bases were not loaded,
the game too close to call,
and John stepped away from second
head starting to third, not thinking
of a catcher with a great arm.
The bat splintered, the ball a grenade,
John took off a race car
to third when the shortstop
grabbed the ball on an ugly bounce
tossed it to third. A double play?
The end of the rally? John slipped
to his back, spikes riding high,
who cared who was hurt–
he hit the plate in an avalanche,
the third baseman pulling back,
the ump throwing up his arms.
John rolled to a stand, pushed the dust
from his pants, saw a streak
of blood on his right arm, safe.