No softball for them,
Not yet, never they’ll tell you ….
Baseball, their game since pre-teen years
And now in late thirties, early forties ….
It must be baseball,
Scores low, no blooping pitches,
Baseball, the scuffed white baseball
On a sun-hardened field ….
Now, in downtown shade,
Before driving to the distant park
They sit, paunches over black-belted
Clean white uniform pants,
Sneakers on, spikes later.
Red uniform shirts bulge bellies.
But it will not be softball –
No women near,
None will be in the stands,
A fan, friend, watching, maybe ….
Paunchy men declaring their
Gray hair, edged faces,
Puffy arms, thick legs
Are baseball’s parts –
And they take the game.
Toss the morning coffee cups,
Lift the ball, bat, and glove canvas bags,
Drive away –
Warm-up before the early afternoon start –
Sweat to come,
Arms, legs twitching ….
Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, late June 2012