Play at the Plate

From the book

That Sweet Diamond

by Paul B. Janeczko, Carole Katchen (Illustrator)

Some

watch the ball

short hop the wall and

the right fielder-who

can't pick it up fast enough -

finally snatch it

sling it

to the impatient cut-off man,

who throws home

almost before he turns.

 

Some

watch the runner

barely

toe the inside corner of third,

eyes on

the coach's windmill arm

signaling haste.

 

All

watch the meeting place:

the catcher begging for the ball

so he can sweep the tag

at the runner beginning

his slide

before the umpire,

holding his mask

behind his back

as casually as a satin heart

of valentine candy,

signals the meeting over,

the runner safe.