by Joseph Stanton
arriving in a strange city
ideally the play is tied with two outs
where I was once a child
and less than two strikes on the batter
I meet the first crocuses of spring
left-handers using full windups
fierce salvos of color fired through
provide the best chance
pale ironies of melting snow
you will need about four seconds
as I imagine the flowers unfolding
to cover the distance
faces from childhood
from the leadoff to headlong slide
come unexpectedly to mind
It is spring and baseball/softball season has begun. My dad once described watching first or second-year level baseball or softball as “parental purgatory” – the required suffering one must endure in order to be able to enjoy “real” games. Though in many ways I have to agree with this assessment – there are only so many times I want to shout to Jacob while he’s playing second base, “stop chewing on your mitt” or “be ready” so he doesn’t get hit in the head should perhaps someone hit a ball past the pitcher’s mound – there is not much sweeter than little boys, who have not yet fully learned the art of being self-conscious, learning to play what is really a pretty complicated (and boring) game. How do you teach them to “stay ready” when it takes each batter ten pitches to (maybe) hit a ball? They’re standing in a giant, very shallow sand box and if only they could gather enough dirt together with their cleats … or wait … who needs a mitt when they need their hands to play in the dirt?! The coaches are pillars of patience — “Remember, Jacob, don’t stand on home plate when you bat…” – and I am so thankful for all their efforts. This is our second year and it is a little bit better. There were actually real actual outs made in yesterday’s game and several hits out of the infield! Anyone who has ever been here knows that these are HUGE accomplishments.
I was a little concerned about whether I would actually be able to watch any of the game since the three girls wouldn’t have anything to do and Anthony wasn’t going to be able to get to the game until it was almost over. However, one of the other moms brought plastic pots and pans and plates for the unoccupied girls; what a great idea! Lizzie and Josie played for nearly an hour with the other sisters before wandering back over to me, exceedingly dirty, but not bored in the least! And it was cold enough that Abby was satisfied to sit and snuggle with me on the way-too-cold-metal bleachers. Though cold, we were blessed with dry weather (not at all guaranteed in the northwest in the spring).
One game down … only fifteen more to go! OY! (And that’s just for baseball!)
Photo 160 of 365: Stealing Home
Photo 161 of 365: Batter Up!
Photo 162 of 365": Where is Abby?
Photo 163 of 365: There she goes …