The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Unicorns that day.
The team of four- and five-year-olds had not learned how to play.
And then when Sam got lonely and when Cleo did the same
They snuggled in parental laps and paused the T-ball game.
A straggling few in center field were looking at the bugs
Down in the grass; and others went to moms for snacks and hugs.
But Flynn had come to play, and so he stood, devoid of fear
Before the tee, on which reposed the all-important sphere.
He took a swing and whacked the ball; the crowd of parents reeled,
Then our boy Flynn stood still and watched it roll to far left field.
Opposing players watched it too; they didn’t move to play
As if the rules required they let the ball have its own way.
“Run!” Coach Trent exclaimed, and then, “Run!” cried all the mommies
Even those whose kiddos wore the T-shirts of the Zombies.
But no one moved, ‘til play resumed with Henry at the tee.
He hit the ball; it dribbled forth and stopped in front of Brie,
Who looked at it with mild concern before she saw Coach Ted
”What do I do?” she asked him. “Throw to first!” the mentor said.
Brie gathered up her courage and the ball, then threw it wide
To third base, and was hailed, because the Zombie fielder’d tried.
When Hazel took her turn at bat, she swung with firm intent
And missed the ball a mile but on the backswing caught Coach Trent
Who went down briefly, clutching private parts, and there he knelt
To catch his breath, then stood back up, still sore below the belt.
Then from some 50 throats or fewer rose a lusty prayer.
It echoed from the bleachers, from the playground gaga square
For stepping to the tee with all the confidence of one
Who’s starting second grade next fall was Coach Trent’s older son.
There was ease in Macy’s swagger; there was pride in Macy’s face
And when he addressed the ball, his teammates saw the glow of grace
He didn’t hit it far; in fact, he hit it not at all.
But everyone could see that Macy owned that little ball.
His teammates cheered; his dad just smiled as one who knows the score
He kept on smiling even when Mace missed the ball once more.
The tee again was readied, and again Mace faced his fate
While all around the Unicorns prepared to celebrate.
Coach Ted threw out some trash talk and his team joined in the jiving
And even in the outfield little Zombies were high-fiving
They didn’t see the batter find a way out of this scrape
They didn’t see him leave the bat and climb in Dad’s Escape
Oh, somewhere on a T-ball field the sun is shining bright
And somewhere kids eat Teddy Grahams and play in fading light
But the Unicorns and Zombies are confused, without a doubt
For T-ball is a mystery, and our Macy has snuck out.