On Baseball

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“Why do you like baseball so much?” asked my husband’s son.

My self-conscious, stumbling answer:

To love a team from childhood,

To care so much about the players…every game.

“I know that” he said impatiently,

“But I don’t remember you always liking it so much.”

I always did, I replied,

Not willing to say more.

Knowing he could not understand,

He who never seemed to care who I am,

Where I come from,

Or what is my story.

What does he know of what I liked or did not like

Before he entered my world

and I entered his.

I’m only a road that leads to his father,

An occasional home-cooked meal,

A home at the holidays.

He turned away anyway,

bored with my answer.

Conversation over.

 

His question stayed with me.

I know the real answer.

I think of the little girl,

With a crooked baseball cap

Clutching Daddy’s old catcher’s mitt,

The old leather scent of it,

Wearing her favorite red sneakers,

Spiral notebook in hand,

Keeping score.

The snowy television screen,

and the aluminum foil rabbit ears.

While Yaz hit homeruns,

Before Tony C. got beaned,

and Jim Lonborg charmed the hitters

into making outs.

(Her first crush – Gentleman Jim.)

First, she loved baseball because of the fantasy.

She wanted to play,

To be a boy running on the field.

Then she wanted to be the first girl to play

In the major leagues.

When that passed, she just wanted to marry one.

Those intriguing man/boys

in stretchy pants.

 

Time passed, no longer intrigued.

A child’s dream died

and turned into more practical things.

But the game lived on in the background

like the soundtrack of a movie.

She often turned away

But still checked the papers,

Took note of the scores,

Listened on lazy weekend afternoons.

Saw Fred Lynn and Dwight Evans,

Saw poor Bill Buckner

make his untimely gaff,

Nomar’s fidgets and twitches,

Manny being Manny.

Drawn in by the charisma of Johnny Damon,

His grand slam still rising,

The stolen base.

They captured a trophy

That her father did not get to see.

 

Still, she gave only half of herself

Until the summer of surgeries,

The agonizing wait for results.

She turned on the television

because she could do nothing else.

And there it was again.

 

Even when the scars healed

and the results were all good;

Even when the team was broken

and humiliated in defeat and failure,

She knew their scars would heal, too,

and she would be there.

The little girl

In red sneakers,

Who always loved the game.

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About Colleen

I'm a quilter and a fan of the Boston Red Sox. There's no relation between the two ... Just two things that I love! Member Baseball Bloggers Alliance Follow me on Pinterest and Twitter @QuiltedBaseball
This entry was posted in Baseball, Boston Red Sox, Poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to On Baseball

  1. Therese Winger says:

    I hope you also sent this to your husband’s son. It beautifully answers his question.

  2. Annie says:

    Brought tears to my eyes. No only because you write so prolifically, but because one of the few memories I have with my father was driving down “The Fenway” and being @ “The Park”. I was only 5 years old at the time. I still remember! That was 55 years ago. It still bring a smile to my face. I still love The Red Sox!!!

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