The outlook wasn’t good in my wood-paneled den that day:
My brother still had twenty lives—I’d never get to play.
But when ol’ nature called him off to do what he must do,
I seized my moment—and his chair—for Baseball Legends 2.
I blew the cartridge, sniffed the dust, and powered up the game,
Just one short inning on my way to everlasting fame.
My eyelids tightened, fingers flexed, and brow a little sweaty,
I skipped the menu, chose “1 Player,” got my thumb tips ready.
A nimble flick through all the players set the perfect roster,
A licensed-image Hall of Fame without a sole imposter.
To fully load my players’ stats and set my team apart.
The sky was blue, the field was fresh, the stands were packed with dots
Who cheered on a three-second loop and wiggled in their spots.
And when the starting pitch was thrown, I mashed with all my might—
A rad three-button combo that would send it out of sight.
But at the crucial moment when it mattered like no other,
My head was smacked upside itself by my returning brother!
“Get up!” he cried, “I’m telling mom, ’cause I was playing first!”
And then he purple-nurpled me. He really is the worst.
With gritted teeth I tensed my grip around the grey controller.
For hours I had watched him through another dull side-scroller!
And now that it was my turn, well, I would not be defeated.
He’d made me miss my first swing, but that could not be repeated!
But with his elbow ’round my neck, I swung again and missed!
The players jeered, my brother laughed, the tiny crowd-dots hissed.
I punched him as the third pitch came, I heard him trip and fall,
Then focused on the slowly floating pixellated ball.
A whisper of eternity resounded in the den,
I cleared my mind and exhaled in a state of Jedi Zen.
And, tuning out my brother and the pounding in my chest,
I watched it, timed it, waited for my moment, and I pressed.
Oh, somewhere in this neighborhood the kids are filled with joy,
There’s celebration somewhere for some somewhere girl or boy.
And somewhere there are high-fives, and somewhere there’s a hug.
But there is no joy in our house—mighty Mom has pulled the plug.