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I remember watching my grandfather hit baseballs when I was a boy.

He had to have been in his sixties at least.

He walked with a cane,

one leg had been withered by polio as a child,

and had gotten weaker with age.

He put the cane aside when he was going to hit for us,

so we could practice catching pop flies.

Every once in a while he’d forget, or pretend to forget, that he was supposed to be hitting pop flies,

and he’d rip into one,

and it would sail over the fence, over the tops of the nearby houses

and he’d grin,

say sorry about that one.

He wasn’t sorry,

and neither were we,

we stood there in awe of the strength and power of the old man, who suddenly didn’t seem so old.

The red highlights in his gray hair suddenly stood out in the early summer sun,

his brilliant green eyes seemed to chuckle

at some inside joke.

Now, approaching my fortieth year, far faster than I’d like,

playing ball with my son,

I too occasionally,

just let one rip,

and I can see the same reaction I had as a boy,

on my son’s face,

to him,

I am Babe Ruth incarnate,

and now I realize,

as I chuckle to myself,

the joy of the longball

isn’t only for the young.

Categories: Poetry
  1. June 17, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Oh, I just love this! I don’t know what else to say. So lovely. Thank you. 🙂

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