SPRING 1778 *

There were many days this season that,
weather permitting, one could find
many of the twelve thousand Continental soldiers
who had wintered at Valley Forge
(joined in the spring by eight thousand more
prefatory to the breaking of camp)
playing a game called ball,
one of the many ancestors of modern baseball
Yet, despite having an advantage over Doubleday
by actually being present where the game was played,
neither the Mills Commission nor anyone else
ever posited The Father of His Country
as The Father of His Country’s National Game,
and rightly so:  that ancestral game
clearly preceded the country’s birth,
to say nothing of Washington being too busy
waging a war for survival
to spend time creating a game
Plus, the Commission had already decided
on a single father of American origin
rather than evolution from many fathers
of many different origins,
and they ignored all facts that didn’t fit
their preconceived narrative