116. The Baseball Game

“Christ! Throw it to
Home! Throw it to
Home!”
Lord, he had said
Christ! Bud glanced
Around. But he’d been
Provoked! That
Matt in outfield,
Throws to second,
Second throws to third,
Third throws high to
Shortstop, shortstop
Misses, sure–
Toward the ball Matt
Dives–bumps James in
Right field, scoops it,
Throws to second,
Second throws to….
This, a baseball
Game? No! Damn church
Social!

Bud was thinking:
They all look at
Me. Not Matt, but
Me: how does damn
Banker hold up
When his son falls flat?
Him who holds our
Mortgages, how’s
He, when Matthew
Trips hisself?
Hardly fair–but
Bud kept his eyes
Stern.
Everyone must
See he saw, know
That he was
Objective! Matt played
Bad. Well, of course!
Why else would Matt
Be way out in
Left field, out there
By the Okie
Border? Bud had
Told the boy he
Should be playing
Pitcher. When Matt
Did his warm-ups as
Bud told him to,
He pitched like
A dream!
Lots of fielders.
Pitcher, only
One.

At bat
Matthew did no
Better–pop fly.
Bud scowled:
Tom’s boy struck out
Too, thank God.
Time-out called. 
Relieved, Bud wiped his
Face. James dashed up
To his dad.
Half–ashamed,
Indignant, James
Complained: “Dad, that dumb
Trick you showed me,
It’s no good! You
Said to change my
Grip. But I done
Whole lots better,
Old way! You was
Wrong!”
Tom shrugged, smiled:
“Okay.”

Hearing,
Bud was seized with
Such a rage, he
Choked. Patty
Touched his knee.
“Leave me be!”

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