Truth is, I hadn't thought
about that for years
'til a recent phone call rekindled all my fears
"a softball game," Robin said, "and you're invited"
"Softball, great! That's my game!
Why 'Softball' is practically my middle name
I'll be right over," I said, sounding excited
Even though I can't throw,
I can't hit
I can't run, I admit
I can't catch, I can't pitch
in softball I haven't found my niche
but I don't let details get in my way
team sports, that's what I love to play
I got dressed, got my sneakers tied
made it to the park in time for choosing sides
Pick me, pick me, pick me,
pick me, pick me
Glove? Well yes, I own one, but it's in the
repair shop...I can always borrow from the other team...
pick me, pick me, pick me, pick me, pick me...
This part goes on for quite a while because
20 people showed up to play, and as 10-person sides
were being chosen I looked down at the ground,
stared up at the sky, noticed that clouds were
rolling in, acted like it didn't bother me a bit that
Deja vu, I was the last one
after the other team picked Jay Rosen
they put me in the field so far out and to the right
I was practically out of sight
still everybody said I was having a good day
I didn't make any errors
I didn't make any plays
You see, the ball never actually came out my way
and I figured the afternoon is going to end this way
Getting up to bat was even
worse than this
I hit a little dribbler out to the mound,
the pitcher threw me out at first base
then the captain of the other team said,
"Hey, it's OK, she really doesn't know how to play so we won't count her outs"
and I said "Wait a minute, I want you to count my outs I want my outs to count !"
which made me instantly unpopular with my whole team
so I said, "You don't have to count my outs!
I was only kidding!"
but I wasn't
So I resumed my place in the
watched the dandelions grow, blossom,
turn into puffs and blow away in the chilly wind,
watched the clouds make ugly formations
I questioned my worth as a human being
and my reason for living
When top of the seventh, two
on, two out
a crack of that bat, a mighty clout
my whole team turned and cringed to see
that speeding ball heading toward me
I ran as fast as I could, I said a prayer
stuck out my glove.. .the ball landed in there!
no one could believe it on either team
they hooted and hollered, stomped and screamed
and even total strangers watching clapped and cheered
aware that God had just performed a miracle here
I was carried to the bench, handed a beer
then the clouds broke apart and the sun reappeared.
(I'm exaggerating on that point.
The sun didn't come out, but it felt like it did
in my heart. I wanted to live again.)
By the way, we lost that game
but I considered it a moral victory
so Janis Ian, wherever you might be
take heart, there's hope for you
'cause there's hope for me
© 1985 Christine Lavin