Saturday, February 6, 2010

Colby Field in February: A Remembrance

Ice cracks not balls on bats
broken brown grass silently awaits April
as the player in his down jacket paddles through winter,
reading Robert Frost, texting secrets, copying Gene boxes from his lab partner
"What's that one?"
"Beats me. I copied it from Mary."

The empty dugout, the buried foul line, the absent bases
are mysteries to be solved by Spring.
The black rubber swing seats are ice cold in the empty playground
shoes squeak on the basketball courts now. The sun limps tiredly over the horizon.
The air is full of wood smoke.
Far away a motor turns a screw drill into the ice where fish eye a worm with suspicion.
No score, top of the first inning, no outs, no one on base, no count.
Someday the lights will shine again on 18 players, the lights will tell their story
On a winter day at Colby Field history whispers through the bare branches.
On a February day at Colby Field a traveler rubs his numb hands together and conjures a June vision.

Character, Courage, Loyalty
the three pillars of little league baseball
where do we learn these skills?
Not in winter
not on an empty field
but in May and June when your friend strikes out and you don't make fun of him
when you are sure you will strike out but you go to bat anyway
when your team needs you and you need them
this is the February fertilizer of Colby Field, what makes the grass grow.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.