Monday, March 3, 2014

Home Plate


Home Plate

Hello, Dad

I thought of you today

Walking home from work.

Like I have so many days

I stopped off for a cold one with the boys,

Ordered one to go.

I felt your hand on my shoulder,

But when I turned no one was there.

I took the short cut through the field

Where the school once stood

Only the ball diamond remains unchanged

Where you taught me how to play.

I remembered your arms around me

Showing me how to hold the bat.

Life lessons taught in innings.

How to catch, and pitch and hit,

You taught me how to choke the bat,

How sometimes a bunt is better

Than a grand slam to left field.

I learned how to slide into home plate,

My body showing the bruises for weeks.

In my mind I could see the bleachers

Filled with friends, and proud parents

I smelled the scent of oiled leather,

And heard the crack of the bat

As it made contact with the ball

Winter has changed the landscape.

The bases are covered in a white blanket;

Winter’s icy wind steals my breath.

You wanted so much from me

An easier life than yours.

But, here I am, following in your boot prints.

A bottle in my hand.

Your lessons were not for me

I was going to be someone,

Leave this town far behind.