The Rise from a Fall of a Popped Beach Ball 

Summer arrived at the camp by the lake.
It was finally time for the sports balls to wake!
Each one of them rested from August to May.
The kids had come back and were ready to play.
The soccer ball smiled, it was first to get picked
By kids who were looking to juggle and kick.
The football went next, then the baseball and bat.
The kids grabbed them all, except one that was flat.
“Each year is the same,” cried out the last ball.
“I never get picked, they don’t want me at all.
I watch all the others get kicked, caught, and thrown,
While I sit on this shelf, unloved and alone.”
It longed for the days when it starred at the camp,
Hoisted above the lake volleyball champs.
Children would plead for the bright-striped beach ball,
That stood in the air over seven-feet tall.
Into the lake, all the campers would run,
Awaiting the ball that they’d hit towards the sun.  
The children lined up, with half on each side
Of a volleyball net, that was twenty-feet wide.
Finally a counselor would throw up the ball,
They’d bounce it back up when at last it would fall.
But they bounced it no more, for on one tragic day,
It fell on a rock after rolling astray.
The beach ball screamed out, as it lost all its air,
“What good am I now, a flat ball with a tear?!”

And so it has sat on the shelf in the shed,
While the other balls played till the kids went to bed.
Today was the same, as the beach ball looked on,
At the games with the kids just outside on the lawn.
When the day turned to night, the balls all returned,
The kids talked and laughed, as the campfire burned.
The sports balls each bragged of their feats from the day,
While the beach ball was quiet, unsure what to say.
The football went first, as the rest gathered ‘round,
“I soared through the air for thirty touchdowns!”
“Thirty touchdowns are all that you scored?”
The soccer ball smiled, for it scored plenty more.
"The children just loved me! I rolled and I rolled.
They kicked me all day for at least 50 goals."
The basketball laughed and yelled out to the group.
“I bounced and I flew 90 times threw the hoop!”
The baseball was sad, for it could not compete,
But remembered the one ball it always could beat.
“I only got twenty base hits with the bat,
But that’s twenty more hits than that ball that is flat!”
Each of the sports balls just giggled and laughed,
While the beach ball just sniffled and folded in half.
It wanted so much to just hide from their jokes,
To be out with the kids by the campfire smoke.
But hide it could not, so the joking went on,
All summer they’d tease it from sunset till dawn.

The last night of camp was just more of the same.
They joked that it hadn’t played one single game.  
“Now look here!” it screamed. “This teasing’s not fair!
The kids loved me too till I lost all my air!”
“Children could never love balls that are flat!”
Laughed all the others, except for the bat.
“Why do you constantly tease this poor ball?
Cause it no longer stands over seven feet tall?
Beach ball, ignore them.  Believe in yourself.
You’re more than a dusty, flat ball on a shelf.”
Just then a tapping sound came from outside,
The fire went out and a young child cried,
“It’s raining! It’s raining! Now everything’s wet!
Our campfire concert is not finished yet!”
These songs were tradition, this last night of camp,
But sadly not this year, the ground was too damp.
The beach ball thought back to the wood bat’s advice,
And jumped off the shelf without once thinking twice.
It crawled towards the kids and then sat by a tree,
It flashed its bright colors for counselors to see.
“Hey look, there’s the beach ball!” one yelled with a smile.
“Let’s hang it to dry out the firewood pile!”
The beach ball looked down, as they hung it up high.
Kids danced in the rain, but the wood was now dry.
By the fire, they sang of their giant flat ball,
While inside of the shed, all the sports balls felt small.

Up high in the trees, the beach ball remained. 
Each summer it shielded the kids from the rain. 
Though it still couldn't play in the lake like before,
It enjoyed watching over the kids even more. 
"We love you beach ball!" all the campers would yell
Every year by the fire, as rain droplets fell.
They’d sing it a song before heading to bed,
And the sports balls joined in from their shelf in the shed.