4 – 6 – 3

The ball from the batter bounds
and binds the baseman to the dust.
Recovering, he flips it underhanded
and the hurdling shortstop gloves it
as his right toe drags the corner of the bag
and left leg clears the slide to set,
knee flexing to absorb his charge,
while right hand comes to glove before his chest,
and body clockwise coils
until the right spikes bite
so the leg can drive
and the cocked arm
snap cleanly in the sun
toward first.

Who would not wish that this should satisfy,
as any old perfection might,
our lust for surgical strikes?
What can anyone accomplish
that has more matter in it
than this game
with its determination
to cut down two runners at once?