“A Swing and A Miss,” by J. Patrick Lewis

This piece by J. Patrick Lewis was published in Light Quarterly in 1954.  It presents some lively descriptions of the various pitches a batter faces at the plate.  When one considers such a dynamic target, it’s no wonder that successfully earning a hit in one-in-three at-bats makes for an accomplished hitter.


The fastball
that you hope to poke
is smoke

The curveball
that you thought was there
is air

The knuckler
wobbling up to you
can dipsy-do

The screwball
an ironic twist
hits your fist

The sinker
comes as a surprise:
it dies

The let-up pitch
you can’t resist?
you missed

The spitball
that by law’s forbidden
(is hidden)

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