Double Play

From the book

That Sweet Diamond

by Paul B. Janeczko, Carole Katchen (Illustrator)

The runner is

a non-swimmer in deep water,

inching from the bag

timid

returning in alarm.

 

The shortstop and second baseman

are schoolboys

passing secrets

behind the pitcher's back.

 

Moving before the pitch,

the shortstop dashes to the bag

glove up in anticipation

as runner and

peg from his partner at second

approach.

He drags the toe of his right shoe

across the bag

as the ball slaps home

and he leaps

to avoid the spikes.

 

Resting in air

safely above the slide

long enough to throw to first

before he tumbles to the dirt,

his eyes on the ball

the mitt

until

the umpire's confirmation of perfection.