As soon as the ball becomes a white streak off the bat

the center fielder puts his hands on his hips,

digs his toes into the warning track

and refuses to look at the ball as it sails over his head.

I wonder what would happen

if the game was tied for hours, days, weeks.

Oh, for the first few days we'll pretend to care,

who wins and loses, booing when the visitors'

But after a few days of sleeping under the stars and watching kids

run zigzags across the outfield in the morning

their socks growing wet with dew

we'll sensibly give up.

In the afternoon we'll lunch on stale popcorn and grilled-hatched hot dogs,

gossiping at the condiments station about who has left, who's arrived

and whether you noticed Becky move sections,

even though her husband of eight years is still in section B

glumly keeping score in a pile of scorebooks growing fast at his feet,

the double switches and pitching changes marked with scrawled arrows.

The announcers will chime in every few hours

cheerfully announcing births, somberly noting deaths

and reminding us one lucky fan will win a Kia if a home run hits the cowboy

who watches from 445 feet away in straightaway center.

The government will try to get us to leave, I bet--

I picture came jeeps outside, puzzled National Guardsmen

sitting on the hood, swapping cigarettes

There will be news trucks there too, their TV arrays skying over the

wall past left field, over the Roto-Rooter ad.

Once, people will swear, they saw Matt Lauer peeking over the wall

during a double steal attempt in the 154 inning

and his haircut, the ladies will say, was perfect.

Trevor Pyle is a sports journalist who lives and works north of Seattle. He has published poetry in Aethlon and The Heron's Nest.