Instead of dreary gray strands
threading subtly widening paths
around my head,
I want blazing red
for my autumn color,
interspersed with patches of
can’t-peel-your-eyes away yellow
of an orange so perfectly sun-toasted
it holds its own as an independent hue,
not remotely a blend of the other two.
I want the colors to burst
out all at once,
so that people I meet
will feel a catch of breath
at the splendor,
the glorious culmination of my maturity.
In honor of the baseball post-season and the fact that my hometown team, the Kansas City Royals, gets the award for most improved in the last few years, here’s a post about baseball. It’s a short memoir piece I wrote a couple of years ago. It originally appeared in Ducts.org.
I’m five years old and there’s a baseball game in progress right outside my door. We live at the junction of Thompson and Askew. Our corner serves as home plate. The pitcher stands in the middle of the intersection. Very few cars drive by during a summer day in the neighborhood that Kansas City forgot. If a family owns a car, it means the father has a job, and the car is at work with him.
I watch the action from my front yard. Trudy, a teenager from down the street, invites me into the game. She asks if I’d like to take her turn at bat. She’ll help me. I hustle to the corner and take the unwieldy wooden club. I’m big for my age, but not enough to handle an adult-sized baseball bat. Trudy puts her arms around me, providing extra hands to hold the bat steady. Her long, wavy hair falls over my left shoulder. Continue reading