My first glove came from the leaves –
What mother would give her 1940’s girl
a baseball mitt to undo years
of proper feminine grooming.
I found it one Saturday, abandoned
in the playground behind Burdick Junior High.
Thin as cardboard,
made not of leather
but some pre-plastic substance
designed for illusion,
still, it had webbing
and I could catch in webbing.
I imagined some kid playing there on his birthday
and his Dad comes and gives him an
unscarred all leather fielder’s glove,
burned along its outer flank,
fingers well stuffed, heel firm,
two or three layers of new leather smell
below the pocket to protect the palm
and this glove I found
discarded among the leaves and gum wrappers.
For me it was Nirvana.
PeeWee and Jackie, Carl
and Campy all rose like specters
urging me on to take the field.