I remember playing baseball on a city park ungroomed diamond
when clouds dotted the sky in the dusty days of spring,
always the catcher who couldn't quite hold onto the ball,
yet Momma cheered for me even when I messed up.
Dad gave me a hug after the game, no matter the score.
The best part was being with my friends, the loud
and the quiet: Frank with his burst of red hair,
Bobby who was always late, Larry who wore thick glasses
and, like me, couldnít see the ball when he was on the field.
Luckily, there were the after-game treats: ice cream, cookies,
sometimes ruby red popsicles that Johnny pretended
froze to his tongue, little Billy held in his hand too long
until the syrup spread in a gooey mess on his hand.
In my older years, I wish my days could be
as simple as then, as carefree.
Perhaps today's a good day for a popsicle.
© by Peter A. Witt.
Used with the authorís permission.