The Game

The Game August 15, 2011

As fans flit about and land,

it’s the empty field that awes me.

Going through the tunnel, the history

of every game ever played hovers like the

memory of lightning in a canyon, a force

no one can make appear or keep from

fading. And the great ones know that

they only borrow a much-needed grace,

if they’re lucky. All the work, all the

running and swinging, all the seasons

of dirt and leather, so that one inning

in May or September, when they leap

for a liner, the legends might lift their

glove higher, when they swing for the

fences, the wind of sluggers long gone

might rush their arms through the zone

to help them catch up to that devastating

heater. But now, with pitchers stretching

and veterans getting taped, the ground crew

is liming the batter’s box, spraying the infield,

and sweeping the mound. Clean bases are

being spiked at the corners and the lines

are drawn which ordinary humans will

cross for a few hours with the possibility

of being immortal, which will evaporate as

soon as they reach home or step off the field.

The great ones know it’s not they who

are great, but the lift of the field.

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