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Last of the Ninth.

Last of the Ninth

I well remember the grueling
two-a-day practices
in the stifling Mississippi heat,
when I played football
only because a coach
1 greatly admired thought I should.

And I remember the hot gyms
in the cold winter nights
where 1 spent most of the time
riding the bench.

But most of all I remember
walking confidently to the plate
with the bases loaded
and the game on the line,
fearing no man's high hard fastball
or sweeping curve,
knowing the outcome even before
I watched the line drive
fall beyond the reach
of the diving outfielder
and the runners racing home.

But none of that prepared me for this.
Nothing I learned from sports,
about victory or defeat, success or failure,
comes to my aid as I watch my beloved,
my greatest fan,
forfeit her memories one by one.
Today she no longer knows my name,
and tomorrow she may not know her own.

And we are left standing at the plate,
bat still on our shoulder,
as the umpire calls strike three.
And no one to say it's only a game.

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Author:Hamblin, Robert
Publication:Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 22, 2017
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