Evening, a clear skinned sky, the outfield
green, well trained, and happy, the infielders
gathering the breeze, winds in motion.
We had box seats, close enough to see
the face of the guest of honor throw the first ball,
my son at my side, his first visit to the park,
wild-eyed and cheering, never sitting still,
everything a ballet of motion, the right fielder
throwing a runner out at home, the short stop
reaching for a spiking ball, a long ball curving away,
the pitcher grabbing a line drive—it had to hurt!
The Cubs did not win that game, nor the next,
but none of this mattered to him, nor me.
The lights came on, the theater continued,
the players larger than life, the crack of the bat,
the cracked bat flung away, the jar of a hard hit ball,
the slash of dirt against uniform sliding into home,
the wash of everything, and he felt the game,
the smiles of the players, the very breath of baseball,
the way it was alive, the way it was important.