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FALL

3 April, 2012

I want a baseball glove —  a five-fingered fielder’s mit with a big trap.

I would rub and polish it and slam a ball into it until it could trap a

shotgun blast and not sting my hand.  It would be soft enough to bury my

face in — bury my face and smell the magic smells of tannin, saddle soap,

and neetsfoot oil.  It would be so saddle soaped and neetsfooted that

someone in some far day would dig it up intact and display it as ritual garb

for some penta-pendulous deity.

It must be able to withstand storage under an occupied pillow and catch

gloriously dreamed, long fly balls against a chain link fence — or Todd

Peterson’s garage.

It should have real leather laces and an adjustable strap with a bold hero’s

signature on it.  It must be able to become invisible when left dangling

from a handlebar in the driveway overnight.

And if I hold it expectantly out and gaze carefully over the thumb I should

see in amber haze a man smiling pride, love and joy through the mock menace

of a steely-eyed Dodger with a catapult arm.

And there have to be oak trees — and it must be fall, with crunchy drifting

remnants of summer swirling about and making miniature twisters past tree

trunks and house corners.  And there has to be the smell of burning leaves

and all God’s harvest in the air.

And, when the glove is tucked under my arm, there has to be a man walking me

from the falling sun with an arm around my shoulder and a promise always to

be there in his hug.

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From → Stories & Poetry

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