Poem Of The Week: The Base Stealer

Ricky Henderson was inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend. We didn’t necessarily mean to ignore that fact (or Jim Rice’s induction), but we have. So PnP makes amends to Ricky the best way we know how.  This  work by Robert Francis, a student of Robert Frost, captures the tension of a stolen base like only poetry and Ricky Henderson can. And unlike Ricky’s career, it’s quite short:

robert francis cardPoised between going on and back, pulled
Both ways taut like a tight-rope walker,
Fingertips pointing the opposites,
Now bouncing tiptoe like a dropped ball,
Or a kid skipping rope, come on, come on!
Running a scattering of steps sidewise,
How he teeters, skitters, tingles, teases,
Taunts them, hovers like an ecstatic bird,
He’s only flirting, crowd him, crowd him,
Delicate, delicate, delicate, delicate – Now!

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