This free-verse poem was originally published in June, 2019. While the theme is filled with humor, between the lines one can read about the endless duties of a mother. In this case, she is busy during a summer’s break from the school year routines. This repost is dedicated to all mothers for a job well done!
The right fielder just happens to be the newest boy in the neighborhood. His family makes their new home down on Lexington Drive, not far from a park with a baseball diamond.
A group of boys organize pick-up baseball games every morning during the summer at the park’s diamond. The right fielder shows up, eager to play, but he is the final player picked for one of the teams.
Few of the other boys put much faith in the smallish right fielder’s short stature. His glove is well-worn as the seasoned leather molds around his small hand, and his tattered jeans feature a gash at the knee which provides for some extra ventilation. He wears a faded cap with the Brooklyn Dodgers “B” logo still showing.
On most pick-up baseball teams, whoever plays right field is usually one of its weaker players with not much of a glove, little speed, and a dreadfully weak throwing arm. Willing to play right field serves as a consolation prize for being picked last.
The right fielder humbly accepts his position. He is hungry to play ball, and he just wants to fit in with the other boys.
He enjoys a decent game at the plate with a couple of solid hits. His teammates begin to take notice of his skills. The right fielder has yet to see a ball hit his way.
The score remains tied with two outs now in the bottom of the final inning. A runner stands in position to score from second base as he waits for a much needed hit to bring home the winning run.
With the crack of the bat, the runner is on a dead sprint to third base on his way to home plate. The ball has been hit like a shot into right field. The right fielder makes a quick jump on the sharp hit, fields the ball cleanly, and sets up his feet for a throw to the catcher.
The runner is rounding third base, and the field is buzzing with excitement. The catcher positions himself just in front of home plate as he prepares to receive the right fielder’s throw.
With a hop and a step, the right fielder uncorks a frozen rope of a throw. It carries low toward the waiting catcher. The runner looks to be a dead duck. The throw arrives at home plate well ahead of the runner.
The catcher flinches as the ball skips off of the turf in front of the plate. With a perfect bounce up, the ball arrives well ahead of the runner. Sadly, the catcher misjudges the throw, and it bounds over his glove into his body.
Runner safe! Game over!
With the game over, the rest of the boys discover they have a pretty darn good right fielder. They’ve never seen a throw quite like his.
The inspiration for this poem comes from a photograph published on Jan’s blogin her “Wordless Wednesday” post. Check out her site for some wonderful poetry, inspiration, photography, and so much more. There is probably a hint (yes, definitely) of the rustic and tranquil life experienced in the small communities of western Montana.
Under the shade of a massive oak tree, Fred relaxes in his backyard hammock while enjoying a perfect summer afternoon.
A slight, friendly breeze helps to keep the bugs away, and Fred always thinks better when he spends time in his comfortable hammock. He looks up into the canopy of branches in the tree above, and his eyes begin following an intensely busy squirrel which is scurrying back and forth . . . back and forth.
Fred’s thoughts begin to wander as he imagines his own creation of the “perfect” treadmill. While his model will have the usual cup holder, he will add a necessary tray for his pepperoni pizza.
Thinking . . . How can a person calculate how much wood a woodchuck could chuck, if he could really chuck wood?
Worried about an upcoming family reunion, he recalls telling his close friend, Wally, “How will I remember all of their names?”
Wally confidently replies, “Easy, just call everyone ‘cousin.’”
Remembering his granddaughter’s wedding reception last summer, he asks his wife, Doris, to dance. He tells her, “They’re playing our favorite song.”
It takes the couple a little longer to arrive on the dance floor, and the song is nearly half over. Fred calls out to the DJ, “Play it again Sam!”
Several minutes go by. The “always in a hurry” squirrel pauses and thinks to himself, “What is that noise?”
Looking down, he spies Fred blissfully sleeping and dreaming, and his loud snoring serenades the entire backyard with . . . well, almost charming tunes.