03/30 Greener Grass
This poem came from a workshop I taught where you take an idiom and try to flip it around, here’s my attempt at that.
I remember the wind
How it carried the ball
Pushed it higher than it should’ve been
Me, running to the fence two, three times.
The outfield is a place for no man who doesn’t like to run
But I do.
Careening arc of the ball
A rocket aimed from infield desert sand to outfield forest grass.
That day we played against the travel team.
Every single player with new Mizuno sponsored gear,
Pressed all black matching leather gloves,
Fitted ball caps with stitched on numbers
Stitched last names between shoulder blades on starch clean jerseys.
We, were not that type of travel team.
Derelict jerseys with the ironed on numbers peeling away.
Snap back hats, before their revival, that were all larges
Some kids had to have the plastic tabs down on the last button
Plastic X on the back of their heads,
tan lines in our red necks.
Various ranges of gear
Nick with his doctor dad actually sprang for a custom bag with our logo on it.
James with his pastor father didn’t even have a bag, just a mitt on the end of his bat.
Me, somewhere in between
A new bat for Christmas but cleats a half size too small, didn’t need to lace them
They say the grass in greener on the other side.
This grass, spray paint perfect.
Squared groomed outfield, raked and water sprayed infield.
The Diamondbacks versus the Silver Spoons.
Actually they were the Braves
But we all knew their actual team name.
We were snakes in the grass
Able to strike without being seen.
Bottom of the order batting around each inning.
Us spraying their fielders everywhere from the plate.
Them, shut down by our 70 mile hour hurling future high school quarterback.
Pleased to pile back into carpooled vans for pizza after beating the Silver Spoons.
Me picking perfect green grass out of my cleats and flinging it out the window.