An Out in an Inning

the calm
before the
wind up, and the
delivery home,
he could anticipate
the hitter’s swing, and the ball,
cracked off the bat, screaming to the
void between shortstop and third baseman.

a split
second he
launched himself, with
his glove on outstretched
hand, to coordinates
of the interception point
of a hot heat-seeking missile,
a rocket targeting outfield grass.

felt it,
hit the web,
as he hit ground.
Scrambling, he leapt up,
turned, and fired his lone
bullet across the diamond.
He heard the pop before the step
of the runner on the first base bag.

heard it,
a burst from
the stands filled to
capacity, with
everyone on their feet, hands
pounding together in honor
of him for a defensive gem
they’ll talk of long after the game ends.

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