Last batter up,
He approached the plate
And shivered: the night had grown strange.
An inning ago, the air had changed -
Clear at first, then mist blew in
And thickened to fog, and the lights
Fell from bright down to dim.
He never had time to think
Something not right, but what?
He tapped the plate twice with his bat
And looked up:
Night held sway in a field where he stood
And that sound he was sure of,
The sigh of the crowd,
Was nothing but wind riffling leaves.
Something white tore through the air.
He lunged at it swinging - and felt
The cold, hard crack of his bat.
The next thing he knew, he was running.
All about him, the rustle of voices
Or wind molesting dry leaves.
He remembered a long-ago fairy tale:
A boy lost in a forest -
No trail of footprints behind him.
Never again going home….