Play at the Plate

From the book

That Sweet Diamond

by Paul B. Janeczko, Carole Katchen (Illustrator)


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.



watch the runner


toe the inside corner of third,

eyes on

the coach's windmill arm

signaling haste.



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.