Self-Portrait

Baseball: The Surrogate Father

 

Baseball is a surrogate father.

Every piece of advice

which I expound to my children –

that goes in one ear and out the other –

gets reinforced

every Saturday

for three hours

on the baseball diamond

after the umpire calls,

“Play ball!”

 

As I stand at the fence

and shovel peanuts into my mouth,

I can hear Terrance Mann whisper,

“The movie got it wrong, you know.”

I nod my head in agreement and reply to no one,

“Don’t need to build it, kids will play anywhere.”

Together we blurt out,

“And the parents will drive them! Fools!”

 

After the fat lady finally sings,

we stop at 7-Eleven for a Slurpie

before making our way home.

 

After replaying the game

for mom,

I have a date

washing the kid’s uniforms

knowing I’m never, ever

getting those grass stains

out of the knees.

 

I just hope my children

remember

both

the joy and frustration

this game has taught them

about life

as they grow old.

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