Farm baseball

After supper we
play ball in the yard
embraced by shadows                                                                                                                                           of gathering dusk.

My cousin wears
a John Deere cap,
the one his father
might have worn
in a previous game.

The children giggle:
it’s them against us
as it was 20 years before.
Small nervous offspring
testing their uncertain powers
on a makeshift diamond:
shoes and chairs for bases.

Dad hits a long fly
into the tall trees that
sprang from saplings
planted long ago.
He pauses for a moment
to savour the ball’s high arc—-                                                                                            thru the clean August air.

The adults move
to make a play on my son.
“Get him–get him” cries
my mother, reliving the time
she tried to catch
my dodgy youth.

my aunt waits at first
with outstretched arms
to tag her granddaughter,
the two of them lost
in private ecstasy.

Like 20 years before though,
the sky turns to velvet
and the grown-ups tire first.
The children plead
for extra innings
but umpires have deaf ears.

Played out, we all retire
from the field
our ritual of the summer lawn
postponed because of dark.

Walking toward our twilight cars
we dream of being
around in time
for the next unscheduled game.


“The figure a poem makes. It begins in delight and ends in wisdom.”–Robert Frost, “The Figure a Poem Makes”

A poem about memory (one key form of consciousness), the passing of time, and the human and family rituals that repeat themselves briefly giving meaning and purpose to our lives and activities. It is fairly clear that the poet’s consciousness takes in a lot including the various consciousnesses and unfolding experiences of the individual players.

Nature often plays a role or is the backdrop to the many moments of being in our lives. In a sense, it is as much a character as any of the humans in this scene. Every moment of consciousness takes place in a specific moment or unique context. And as you read the poem, you are also aware of what that some of the characters may not be conscious of, too. And so it may be that perspective may also have a significant role to play in whatever process, event, or emerging consciousness.

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