A Baseball Ritual

Raking dirt with cleated toe,
Smoothing divots, seeking pebbles
There to cause trouble
For grounders heading his way.
"C'mon now. Quick inning, quick inning,"

He sets. "Strike one!"

Raking dirt with cleated toe,
A little more left this time.
"Hey, hey, whadya say now."
He sees the rock, just turned,
Bends, picks, flicks it away.

He sets. "Strike two!"

Raking dirt with cleated toe,
Backing up, swiping left, then right,
Chattering at the pitcher,
"Right by 'im, now, chucker, right by 'im,"
While focusing on that infield dirt.

He sets. "Strike three!"

Bouncing, he fields catcher's toss,
Fires 'round the horn, hops
Toward the pitcher's mound,
Gets last touch, flips ball to his hurler.
"Atta boy, kid, atta boy."

Back on the infield dirt
Glancing about the diamond,
Affirming outs, hand high,
"One now, one down here."
And once again...

Raking dirt with cleated toe.

Photo credit: Jose G. Ortega Castro on Unsplash