Almighty Dog

In the Big Inning, Almighty Dog created heaven on Earth
By idly tapping red dirt from His Paracletes
And tipping His cap indulgently both south and north
To thrill the hooting fans high in the cheaper seats.

And Dog said, “Let there be balls and strikes and outs,
And let there be a firm ‘Amen’ amidst the groans and laughter
To separate the balls and strikes, with umpire shouts
That have dominion here at home and ever after.”

Dog filled the stands with howling fans for years,
His mighty feats inspiring hearts that leapeth,
And kept them fed with fishes, loaves, and beers
Multiplying the drunken creeps that creepeth.

All things were plausible in his cassock or chasuble.
Throw him a curve or a cincture. He’d rip it.
He was a fighter in his surplice and mitre,
And they cheered when he’d reach for his mitre and tippet.

Dog boosted charities wherever He’d go
Helping homeless, crippled children if He could.
When He said, “Love thy neighbor,” it was so.
When cripples walked, He saw that it was good.

In Palookaville they called Him simply “Dog”
And tithed a fortune to worship at His feats
Making a joyful noise or staring all agog
When He passed the plate or met them in the streets.

Where and whenever Dog Almighty took the field,
The rabble threw up their sweaty caps and screamed.
Some tore their jerseys, some reverently kneeled.
Dog led them to the Promised Land they dreamed.

With the elixir and the manna of His RBIs,
Dog kept alive the hope that they could win it.
Through forty days and forty nights of lows and highs,
Almighty Dog had brought them home a pennant!

Then, in The Series, the Diablos... their hated foe...
Fought them back and forth for seven games.
Time and again Dog saved them with a mighty blow,
But now The Series came to its final frames.

Hank Aaron came to see Dog with his friend, Jesus Alou.
Exploits they’d heard of were too hard to accept,
But when Dog hit a double and three homers too,
Hank Aaron crossed himself and knelt. Jesus wept.

And now,... down a run... with two outs... in inning nine...
The Big Inning we spoke of at the start...
Game, Series, Season, All were on the line.
A Zealot frenzy raged in every heart.

Peewee Newton, the tying run, stole third... to wild ovation.
Bumperfitz, the on-deck batter, came out to wait.
But... Oh, joy! By some miracle in the rotation,
DOG ALMIGHTY was coming to the plate!

Man of miracles, surely Dog would save the day.
The Diablos’ faces went as pale as death.
With Dog Almighty batting, who could say us NAY!
Hank Aaron hugged Jesus hard. Both held their breath.

No one there quite knew what he was seeing.
A spirit moved upon them. Great expectation!
Dog took a practice swing. ‘Twas just like being
At the Big Inning... the moment of Creation!

But often rancid chance befalls
Shrouding our hopes of Bliss in horrid Doubt.
The Diablos issued Dog a BASE ON BALLS!
And Bumperfitz, the bum, of course, struck out.