Mr. Armanski and Mr. Oswald

 

marched the whole team

 

up that hill, The Hill of Death, near

 

the pavilion at Columbus Park.

 

 

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Rumbling Stumbling Bumbling Fumbling: An American's Jittery Journey Through Life

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I Lost it at Eleven
 

Mr. Armanski and Mr. Oswald

marched the whole team

up that hill, The Hill of Death, near

the pavilion at Columbus Park.

They told us our practices were fun,

and all of us were fine ball players, but now

was the time for final cuts. Names

were read as we all watched

for the faces of the damned.

My name rang out and time

ceased; my eyes open wide to pull

back emotion. The chosen ones

were to stay up there on that hill

of death as the rest of us gathered

our gloves, our composure, our

hatred for the retreat downhill. The entire

Little League waited to play

a tournament, and I felt the pity

of eyes as they watched every

heavy step. My mom broke

dead silence with "You can stay,

or we can just go home."

She knew. My descent

was hidden from no one. I

had no choice, and my

new team needed a catcher.

"Got your nut-cup?" my dad

wanted to know. "Yes,"

I lied, and I was the catcher. In the

mask, on defense,

I cried.