You do not have to love baseball
To love the game of baseball.
Go to a game, any game, and look around.
There is the field, a basic work of art, a canvas
In which realism is combined with the abstract,
With its focal point, the pitcher’s mound,
Three-dimensional and curved to catch the eye,
With its brown symmetry. There are lengthy
Straight white lines that emanate from a matching ivory
Irregular but pleasing pentagon simply called home plate.
No lines drawn by Jackson Pollock are so meaningful as these foul
Yet pleasing lines that can decide the outcome
Of a game. Then there’s the verdant grass, so full
Of life and nature; this mix of green, brown, and white
Represent the non-existent but official flag that stands for the
Life, love, and energy that are baseball. And on
This canvas, to complete the work of art with
Hues in motion, are the players and their uniforms
As well as the monochromatic arbiters that serve as contrast .
No visit to a small museum can demonstrate connection
To the viewer as this living masterpiece speaks to the
Crowd that visits it and takes it in, noting every detail.
And then there is the frame — the crowd, filled with motion
And emotion, singing with their love of the home team,
Smiling, cheering, even showing their displeasure.
Look around and you will see families, generations,
Sharing the experience — and you know that they
Will one day reminisce and smile at this mutual recollection
That has a special place in the annals of their family memory.
This is not a painting merely for the eye; it has appeal for hearing,
Talking and boosting, as has been noted,
But beyond that there is the olfactory —
The taste of baseball fare: hot dogs with their mustard and their buns,
Beer or soda, sandwiches that reflect the flavor of the city represented.
(Go to a Phillie game and you inhale the aroma of the cheesesteak.)
Listen to the music and the automated prompts and the home announcer.
This is a total immersion. And to appreciate this artwork, you need just
Appear and take it in in its intensity and share the rising pleasure
And excitement through osmosis, and you will, at game’s end,
Know that you have been through an experience that will stay with you
Long after the masterpiece has left the world of art much as
A sand mandala, having served its purpose, returns to its true nature,
Prepared to one more time — and then another — become a masterpiece.