the batter snapped his bat
and up the middle cracked
a hit. the ball screamed
towards the pitcher,
who, still reeling from his writhing,
spun, and weaved, and ducked
and in the end, kissed the dust.
the second baseman stabbed
out with leathered glove
and snagged the wayward missile
and casually tossed the ball
to the first baseman for the final out.
the pitcher crawled up the mound
and stood still dazed.
on one half of his face his beard grew still
but the other gleamed, shaved clean,
clean save for a mark, angry and red,
red like the smacked back end
of a baseball’s stitching.
(inspired by a play during the Cleveland Indians at Anaheim Angels game on 11 April 2011, with Mitch Talbot pitching and Mark Trumbo at the bat in the bottom of the 4th inning. Trumbo was out 1-4-3 on the play.)