“Rainy Day in Baseballland” by Joe DeMarco


It was a rainy day in Baseballland
The players were home in bed
One rookie rolled over his eyelids a flutter
With dreams of a stand-up triple running through his head

 

The cleats and spikes were all on hooks
Along with mitts, bats, and caps
And even Cal Ripken Jr. had settled down
For a long summer’s nap

 

Outside the rain was pouring down
While puddles drenched the field
But little Eric Hopkins came to play
And his imagination refused to yield

 

His mitt lay soggy in a puddle
And his sleeves were drenched with rain
As his hands clenched a cold bat with a hope
“That springs eternal in the human brain.”

 

Little Eric threw the ball up swung and missed,
And the umpire bawked, “Strike one!”
He tapped his cleats, picked up the ball, and reminded the ghost crowd,
“This rain won’t ruin our fun.”

 

For little Eric loved the game
And he loved the feel of stitched leather in his hands
As he waved to his mom, who sat with his fabricated wife
And his invented kids up there in the fantasy stands

 

And now the imaginary pitcher holds the ball
And now he lets it go
But little Eric swung and missed again
Which made two strikes in a row

 

He metaphorically dusted himself off
And picked up the ball once more
For often he wished that instead of three strikes
The batter could get four

 

But today he realized, it was his day
His wishes were his commands
So as he squeezed the water from his jersey
He raised his finger toward the left-field stands

 

He was Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey Jr.,
and Barry Bonds all together
And anything you said about lightning or thunder
Wouldn’t be getting him out of this weather

 

For in his head the sun was shining
And the grass was green and dry
And he sent that low and away 0-2 pitch
Like a rocket into the sky

 

And he arrogantly trotted around the bases
Stepped on third and headed toward home plate
While his mother yelled from down the street,
“Dinner’s cold and you are late!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph DeMarco was born in New York City; he lived most of his life in Buffalo, NY. He now teaches seventh grade on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. He is the author of the novels Plague of the Invigilare, The 4 Hundred and 20 Assassins of Emir Abdullah-Harazins, At Play in the Killing Fields, and Blind Savior, False Prophet. He is currently working on several new projects.  (authorsden.com/josephdemarco)