For one season, guess I was ten,
the devil hung out in my fielder’s mitt
and I felt queasy, “Hey, take it easy,”
I’d mutter to no one

That leather hand I mashed,
ground-pounded, cursed,
I spat and wished for cat to
lend me 9 lives every time
a batter swung … connected…
that hard, white eye sailing or
fast-rolling or strolling its way
to this skinny sinner

who jigged, jived, footsied every
whichway hoping left arm and (usually)
magnanimous mitt would meet and treat
the ball like a scared visitor heading
back real fast to second …
but, that ‘ole devil throated a giggle,
broke my luck’s back, letting the
ball drop and scoot away

Yep, I did settle accounts and accounted
for a wild throw (plenty of ’em) to
baseman Bill or maybe shortstop Matt
as the madness around 3rd base took
attention away from me …
tension drooping … me, sagging once more,
head shaking at the faint laughing
sound snaking along the ground