Just up that winding path,
Not far, not steep, a pleasant stroll,
On a carpet of soft grass.
A narrow walk cut through the woods,
Wild flowers on both sides,
Sweet smelling jasmine everywhere,
Birds singing from the skies.
A picturesque walk up to the top,
Where the view makes one catch one's breath,
An uncluttered vision of the world,
In utter loveliness.
From such a height, one cannot see
The grime and dirt below,
Just beauty, beauty everywhere,
One's spirit is aglow.
Beating faster, too, are lovers' hearts,
And stirred are poets' souls,
This place so rightly named,
Is designed for all of those.
But not selectively reserved,
There are others who walk this path,
I have in mind an old soul I met,
Who was there to recapture his past.
He sat on the bench to catch his breath,
And I watched as he took in the view,
He smiled, though there were tears in his eyes,
I wondered what I could do.
"Nice day," I said to the gentleman,
"It certainly is," he agreed,
That broke the ice; he started to talk,
And he shared his thoughts with me.
He pointed down to a green expanse,
Which I recognized as a park,
"That's where I met my Ellie," he said,
"That's where she stole my heart."
"Teenagers we were, about that time,
I was pitching the game that day,
Ellie sat in the front row and watched,
And I eyed her, too, as we played."
"It was the bottom of the Ninth,
I had just put on my hat,
Bases were loaded, three balls, and two outs,
Their best batter had picked up the bat."
"I looked up in the stands at my Ellie,
She smiled as she looked back at me,
I thought, Gosh, what if I blow it,
For luck, I rubbed the ball on my knee."
"The crowd grew quiet and hushed,
You could have heard a pin drop,
I hugged the ball to my chest,
Just before I began to wind-up."
"With one last glance at my Ellie,
I said a quiet, quick prayer,
Then, my arm swung around on its own,
And that ball went high in the air."
"You would have thought I'd launched a missile,
The way that ball sped ahead,
I threw down my hat to watch it,
And I swear I saw streaks of red!"
Then the gentleman got to his feet,
And showed me the stance he had used,
By then, I had a big grin on my face,
I, too, had become all enthused.
"I heard no crack of the bat," he said,
"Just a voice, shouting out loud,
And I turned and looked up at the crowd."
"The stands by now had gone wild,
And my Ellie was jumping with glee,
Fired-up, I grinned and waved to her,
And she threw kiss after kiss down to me!"
"Yep, I had my fifteen minutes," he said,
"My fifteen minutes of fame,
But more than that, my greatest reward,
Was when Ellie called out my name!"
"And, you know," he went on to say,
"We've been married for some sixty years,
And we've haven't missed one baseball game,"
He proudly exclaimed through new tears.
"Good for you," I said, "And do you still go?"
"No, not any more," he replied,
"Although I suppose Ellie may go,
When the angels play ball in the sky."
"Oh, I'm sorry she's gone," I took his hand,
"Yep - me too," he sheepishly grinned,
"But I'm looking forward to playing up there,
When I'll be pitching for Ellie again."
I saw he was flexing his arm,
As he stood up to walk away
Well, that arm had to be ready for heaven,
For the games he would pitch there one day,
As I took my leave, I smiled to myself,
As inspired as I've ever been,
By a man who'll play ball in heaven,
Where his Ellie will watch him again.
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis

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My thanks to The World's Largest Poster and Print Store for the copy of this poster, entitled Thrown Out on 2nd, 1887, by Gilbert Gaul.