Brittle leaves dance
Through Everytown and scatter
Little League infields
Where ghosts and memories steal signs and bases.
Gray takes over at First;
Charging Second, the first flakes drown mounds,
Rounding Third, the deepest snow
And lowest degrees,
And during all these months ahead,
Home is where we tend to be.
Highlights reel inside me–inside us–
That 2-2 count,
An insurance run in the ninth,
The unmatched tension of extra innings on the road.
We strain to recall single games, plays, scores,
But it all seems to be a rushed mirage now,
A complex continuum
Where the wisest men around
are outfitted like the outfielders.
Each player, each team,
And each fan
From box seat to bleacher bum
Wringing hands for October rings.
Rookies–babies to some–
Big League Chew in their most dormant moments.
Our noses fill with the scents of old cigars and fresh popcorn.
The game hibernates
And the players and specatators–
All of us Brothers, Mothers, Fathers, Sisters–
Invoke the patience of a September call-up
And trust that their eyes will find the lush green,
The damp brown, and the crisp white lines
That must hoist us through this chilly half of the year.