Bottom Of The Ninth

The Visitors score twice
in the ninth to go up by three runs.
Only a fool would dream
our last place team could ever
mount a come back.

Turning into a full rout,
grumbling fans begin to trudge
for the parking lot exits;
the highways and neighborhood
bars soon congested.

Ushers are no longer policing,
and a front row seat
can be nabbed without fear.
After all, nobody is
being called out for the steal.

Fully aware that their
ace reliever has yet to squander
the lead, I too gather
my possessions and prepare to
join in the exodus.

But then, humbled by
the boy in front of me who still
believes the game can
be won, an inner voice whispers,
why not wait and see.

When he rises to cheer
the first batter up, wishing I
could be ten and
so naive again, I find myself
clapping in support.

Fifteen pitches later,
another loss is chalked up
and those who left
early can jadedly laugh and
say I told you so.

Not knowing what
they missed: the rapturous
look on that boy’s face
when a foul ball was deposited
straight into his mitt.

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