A Cap for Steve

April 29, 2010
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A poor man, a carpenter’s assistant,
To his son so very distant.
David Diamond’s dreary life,
With his son and sickly wife.

To save each penny was his wish,
Place all the earnings in a dish.
For every cent will count in time,
Every dollar, ever dime.

But poor David’s only son,
Could not see the money-fun.
This boys dreams were big and tall,
Each desire, one of baseball.

When he could have learned to save,
He was doing the catcher’s wave.
And when he could have worked for pay,
He played baseball all the day.

Daddy Dave was sick of it,
He hurled and curled, and had a fit.
Shunned his son when the word was heard
baseball—thinking it was absurd.

Did you here, the Phillies are playing?
And what is little Stevie saying?
“Daddy, can you take me, please,
To see those wondrous Phillies?”

Outraged at first, he thought a bit,
Until his little light bulb lit.
“Help me make the kitchen cupboards
And I’ll take you to see those fast home runners.”

So Steve worked hard, and did his part
But David was still hard of heart.
Finally the game was here,
And Stevie had a little fear.

Resentful as Dave may have been,
Wearing a suit, they could be seen,
Son and father crossing the lane,
To go see the big ol’ baseball game.

David watched Steve’s great eyes,
And saw that baseball was idealized.
He let the little boy drag him through
To get an autograph or two.

Gangs of children blocked his way,
Shy little Stevie had no say.
Daddy Dave just wanted to go,
But Steve first needed something to show.

Along came big blonde Eddie Condon
No other Steve was fond of.
Bending down to sign his name,
Every ink mark added to fame.

Falling off his striking head,
A ball cap of blue and red.
Steve picked it up and held it tight,
Staring eyes, so full of fright.

“Okay boy,” was what Eddie said,
“Put the hat back on my head.”
“No,” shook Steve, as he stood so small,
He wouldn’t give it back at all.

David stepped in and told little Steve,
“Give the cap.” His eyes full of grief.
But Steve held on, and pressed to his chest
And David soon grew embarrassed.

“My cap, boy” Eddie said again,
“Will I get my cap?” he wondered when.
David gave his son a shake,
And the hat, he did swiftly take.

Seeing Steve’s worshiping face,
Eddie’s heart was filled with grace.
“Aw, just let him keep it.”
As Steve’s little face lit.

“He said I could keep it did you hear him dad?”
David groaned and felt real bad.
“Yah, I heard him.” Dave admitted,
Soon the hat on Steve was fitted.

Steve’s face was shining,
As he ran his fingers over the lining.
His eyes really big, full of disbelief,
The happiest boy alive was Steve.

Nothing was said when they left the game,
Besides, “Oh look, there’s Eddie’s name.”
Printed in the sweatband, was the name indeed
As Steve hug the cap with happiness and greed.

The hat was far too big for his head,
“Mom can tuck the back,” Dave said.
When they got home, Dave was tired
And Anna didn’t understand why the cap was so admired.

Steve couldn’t go to bed,
For he loved his cap of red.
Ever ten minutes he looked at his reflect
And gave the hat maximum protection.

As days went by, Steve wore the cap
To school, to play, all over the map.
Kids came to try the treasure
And little Stevie beamed with pleasure.

David got frustrated,
With the way that hat was treated.
He found it remarkable though,
How a hat could have so much control.

One night, Steve came home late from the park
It was well past 12, the sky a velvet dark.
Finally he came back home, and David blew a fuse
He got angry, before he heard the news.

“I lost my cap,” came the little voice
He was running and he had no choice,
Loose it or keep it, he put it in his pocket
And off he ran again, faster than a rocket.

The next thing he knew, that hat was gone.
The sun no longer shone,
And Steve knew he had to go home
But not without the hat—he would not go alone.

David called him careless, it was his own fault
But Anna the mother brought him to a halt.
Steve was upset enough,
David didn’t have to make it more tough.

From that night on, Steve searched for the hat
All the time, he didn’t touch a bat.
He asked every child in town
But all said no, and turned him down.

A few weeks later, on a warm evening walk
Steve’s eyes grew in bitter shock.
On the head of a rich kid sat
Steve’s most precious baseball hat.

Steve rushed to the boy and pointed a finger
Said “That’s my hat, you little sinner!”
Snatching that cap from the rich boys head
Steve’s face was angry and red.

“Give me that hat, or I’ll poke you nose,”
Said the boy with the rich-kid pose.
David stared in disbelief,
But they found the hat—what a relief.

“Wait now, take it easy,” David said
“But that’s my hat, there on his head!
Eddie Condon gave it to me
It can’t be yours, how can it be!”

The rich boy grinned in sly emotion
“I bought it from a guy across the ocean.
My daddy paid him lots of bucks
So it’s my hat eh, aw-shucks!”

Stevie’s eyes danced with hate
For to him this wasn’t a debate.
“You’ll have to speak to my dad,”
Said the rich little lad.

“My father is a lawyer, rich is he
We’ll discuss the hat, and how it should be.”
So the three walked to the rich boy’s estate
To finished this baseball cap debate.

Steve looked up to his dad,
His eyes hurt and sad.
“Don’t worry son,” said Dave
“We soon your hat will have.”

A tall, bald man in a costly coat
Opened the door, and cleared his throat.
“I’m Hudson, I didn’t catch your name?”
“David Diamond.” Red, and full of shame.

Chuckling, and a cigar in his mouth,
Leather imported from the south.
“Oh how children can get excited
About a cap united.”

David nodded, not sure to speak a thing,
On Hudson’s hand, a golden ring.
“So it is,” said he
As he moved closer to Steve.

“Sit down, Mr. Diamond,” Hudson declared
Steve looked on, simply stared.
Dave sat down, in the soft silk seat
Looked around the room so neat.

“From what I gather, Mister sir,
You believe this hat is yours.
David answered, “That’s a fact.”
His voice quivered and cracked.

“You’ll have to believe in good cheer
That my son paid for this hat right here.”
David answered, “I don’t doubt this.
But one cannot sell that which isn’t his.”

“My son is very fond of the cap,”
“As is mine,” answered Dave, hands trembling on his lap.
“Well are you willing to pay?”
“That’s not justice!” is what David did say.

“It’s my boys cap, he doesn’t need to pay you!”
Hudson grinned, “I know, but that’s what they do.”
“Fine,” Diamond answered, “How much money?”
Hudson’s sly smile grew, for he thought this was all quite funny.

“My son paid two dollars for it, so you must pay more.”
Dave felt ashamed for Hudson thought he was poor.
His pride was hurt, but when he looked to his side
He saw a look, more powerful then pride.

Dave’s heart grew warm, as he looked at Steve,
Who so, in his father believed.
“I’ll give you two dollars,” Diamond stated.
Steve looked at the rich boy and waited.

“I suppose that’s fair,” Hudson grinned with glee
“But I’ll give you five dollars if you give it back to me.”
David stood and stared, and turned to Steve,
“Is it worth five dollars, Steve?”

Steve shook his head,
And so Dave said,
“No, Mr. Hudson, that hat is my son’s,”
He thought what five dollars would do for his funds.

Mr. Hudson’s eyes twinkled as he put his hand in his pouch,
Pulled out a twenty and went to the couch.
“Take this, and give me the hat,” he said with a smile,
Dave just stared at the twenty a while.

That much money for a cap, David thought,
Oh, so much money, oh, why not?
He looked at Steve and asked of him,
“Do you think we can give it to the man?”

Steve was in a trance,
For this was their only chance.
Never again would they be given that much,
For a cap, or anything of the such.

“I don’t know,” at last he answered
He gave his dad a shy smile, and waited.
“Alright, Hudson,” David said, as he held out his hand
He gave the cap, and the two tens did land.

He stood up, and glanced at his child.
The look on Steve’s face was scared and wild.
As they left, he tried in vain,
To convince his son of their rich gain.

“It’s a lot of money,” David said, dripping with guilt.
“I asked you first, before I took it, right?”
Steve mumbled, “He knew how much his son wanted the hat.”
“Yah, but he saw how much it was worth to us,” Dave said flat.

“No, you let him take it away from us,” he blurted
The look in Steve’s eye was hurt asserted.
Dave grew angry
“Don’t you dare say that to me!”

“I never want to be like you,”
Steve yelled, as he crossed the route.
David muttered, “That’s not fair!”
And he didn’t give a care.

Steve ran away, and David chased him.
Across they ran, and David almost reach him.
About to grab him by the shoulder,
Terrified Steve looked, his body turning colder.

It was then the David knew,
That to himself he’d been untrue.
As the reach the home, and came to mother
Steve cried, and said another:

“We found the boy who stole that hat,
And dad let him have it for some money flat.”
David looked up tired and forsaken,
He felt guilty, and realized what he’d taken.

Anna’s soothing words cut into his heart,
“Your father was doing his fatherly part.
He was just trying to do what he thought was right.
One day you’ll understand, now good-night.”

So Steve went off, straight to bed,
Sadness and betrayal filling his head.
There David sat, alone in a chair,
He felt ashamed, lost, in deep despair.

He saw the money on the table,
He hated the sight of it, if only he was able.
To go back, and start again,
He wouldn’t have to face Steve’s pain.

He had grown so separated from his precious child,
That he was blind to see what was beyond price for him so mild.
“Steve,” said he, as he put his hand on his head,
“I didn’t realizes how much fun I actually had.”

“That day at the park, just you and me.
And if I had listened I would be able to see,
That you’re a great pitcher, as all the kids say,
So with the twenty we will pay,

For a new baseball glove, just for you.
I’ll be your coach, be proud, be true.”
A tear danced in David’s eye, rolling down his cheek,
Steve’s pale face turned, to have a peek.

His eyes so full of amazement and wonder,
He had never heard his father speak such thunder.
He realized his father wanted to know his dreams
Together they would become a new team.

Steve looked up, and faced his dad,
And said with a voice that was no longer sad,
“To that man, the cap was just something he could buy, eh dad?”
He smiled. And so did David. And then they knew life wouldn’t be too bad.

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