Today's poem comes to mind each year as ice-encrusted winter months start retreating and I resume walking past those ball diamonds waiting for crowds of kids ... or would-be kids ... to return.
It also comes to mind with the onset of nippy nights and chilly mornings ... a reminder that the things of summer will soon be put aside while we search for the leaf rake... and the dreaded snow shovel.
I like to store away sunnier memories ... something to tide me over in less inviting times, weather-wise.
What better memory than a sun-drenched ball park?
There's one ball park in particular that holds a certain fascination. I guess it's because there's seldom anybody else around as we go strolling by.
I do pause there ... sometimes approach the backstop, and my fingers do grip the wire mesh like "some abandoned vine" ... while I think of days long, long ago, when I actually ran the bases a few times.
There's still that momentary urge to try it again. But I'm a little smarter now ... and a lot slower ... and I never do.
the sagging backstop
at the deserted field,
my fingers gripping
the wire mesh like
some abandoned vine,
I'm tempted to go
tearing around second,
sliding into third
in a cloud of dust;
instead, I linger
a few moments more,
enjoying the quiet,
just imagining that
roar of the crowd.
(originally published in Capper's)