Dad loved baseball since he was a little kid,
they had a field across the road from his farmhouse home,
everyone played in the open space.
Years after the last game ended
we searched with a metal detector
to find remnants of the game,
old buttons, bottle caps, loose coins.
He made up stories how the things were lost,
a rusty knife dropped below the stands,
buttons popped off reaching for a fly,
coins lost in a slide for second base.
During the war he played on an Air Force team,
after the war he was good enough to be paid to play
on the Folgers Coffee Company team.
Half a day loading coffee bags,
half a day fielding flies for practice.
He loved the game and strategy it took.
After one game a Cardinals’ scout talked to him.
He was a long ball hitter, strong at second base.
They wanted to see him throw from center field
and catch a fly ball in the sun.
One bright spring Saturday
he took me to watch him at try out,
with fifty men or more out to show their stuff
on the new mowed field south of town.
The thought of joining the triple A Houston Buffs
fulfilled his lifetime dream.
They never called him back.