Rain has stopped
Top off tank with diesel
Then safety check
Fluids, tires, lights, blinkers
I often wonder about this job
1,000 road trips have taken their toll

Fan belt screeches engine whines
Motor settles to a steady hum
Wipers flick off the last rain

The Wildcats of Boone County
Loiter outside already dressed
Carrying gloves cleats

Helmet bag, bat bag, ball bag,
Catcher’s gear, first aid kit,
Duffel bags already stowed

I open the door with a slow push
The first kid up the steps
Says the words that make me smile
For the first time today
“Thanks, Coach”