‘Twas the week of Thanksgiving, I sat at my house
While the feline was silently tracking a mouse;
Long stockings of blue washed and folded with care,
In hopes a Spring invite soon would be there;
My children were school-bound, so far from their beds;
While music and inventions danced in their heads;
My partner teaching children, and I with my cap,
And just wrestling with words before afternoon nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the front door I flew like a flash,
Just like Cool Papa Bell or Hosmer’s mad dash.
The sun shining bright off the new-fallen leaves,
Perfect scene for a painting, for those who perceive,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a team of ballplayers, one in full catcher’s gear,
And their salty manager with a roast — so quick! — ,
I knew in a moment he must be Coach Stick.
More rapid than sprinters, his players they came,
He shouted positions instead of their name:
“Now, Hot Box! now, Back Stop, now Double Play Trio!
On Center! on, Right Field! on, Pitcher with hair flow!”
They all stood on my porch, and my jaw it did fall!
“And you’re in left field! Now dash away, all!”
“But the season is over,” I questioned in haste.
“This game’s just for fun, but there’s no time to waste!
Best go grab your mitt and your lucky bat, too
Got a jersey on the team bus waiting for you.”
And then, in a twinkling, I ran through the house
And gathered my stuff (while the cat ate the mouse).
Then I ran to the bus, and was turning around
Out the front door came Bella, my dog, with a bound.
“We could use a good bat dog,” Coach said with a grin,
And then gave her a quick rub underneath her chin.
A bundle of bats he then flung on his back,
Creating some floor space for the dog with this pack.
We drove to the ballpark, a turkey feast waited.
“The loser does dishes,” Coach loudly stated.
“Only five innings we’ll play, let’s go have some fun
Hope we come out on top when everything’s done!”
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He perched on the top step and preached platitudes
“If anyone dares bunt, your contract’s devalued!”
Just one hit came my way, a simple can of corn
I circled underneath it and caught it airborne,
Then threw the ball back, without much thought or care
Instead of the shortstop, my dog Bella was there!
She jumped and stole the ball, to everyone’s surprise,
And then started sprinting between legs and thighs,
She ran ‘cross the bases with simple delight,
She ran over players who had no chance to fight.
Coach spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
He took off his stockings, then turned with a jerk,
And quickly constructing a lasso of sorts
He wrangled my dog, who was a pretty good sport.
He sprang to his feet, to the teams gave a whistle,
And they all circled up for the final dismissal
And we heard him exclaim, with all of his might —
“Happy Thanksgiving to all, now get out of my sight!”