The score was tied, it was the bottom
of the ninth, fifty thousand screaming
fans were in throes of pain and ecstasy,
with the shortstop, Smokin’ Diogenes,
set at the plate.
He carried a 33-inch bat, short and light.
He glanced back at the catcher,
then the ump, and then turned dramatically,
as he was wont to do, and looked deeply
into the eyes of the pitcher
In those eyes he saw it all, fate, the future
of Greece and Macedon. He saw the beginning
of Italy, he saw way into the future, just
behind the shadows of the pitcher’s eyes,
Diogenes smiled, took a clean breath,
and exhaled all doubt.
The pitcher went into his windup and
let go a 98-mile-an-hour fastball.
It was, after all, the best he had in his
arsenal, and he knew Diogenes would
be waiting for it. No need for deception
with him.
It was to be the best against the best
with history in the balance.
Diogenes set, lost all thought of the future
of mankind, took his cut and, swoosh,
wham, thud.
Strike three never felt so right.