I can still see the growing green grass covering the lumps and molehills of a baseball diamond.
A slice of a red barn cuts through my vision.
And somewhere, where I can’t see, my grandfather walks between the yellow backhoe and the greenhouse.
The Cardinals and Cubs play as I recall.
I don’t really care so much these days, just a month after his death.
Now, typically these games feel less inspired because Chicago is playing for mere dignity.
But when I see the blue and red, and red and blue-attired teams on my screen, I look past it.
And when I hear Mike Shannon cackling on the air, I can’t recall his words.
Baseball brings just a bit of clarity to the foggy days of grief.
My heart fills with a timely double down the third base line and quickly empties with the realization that a greater loss cannot be cushioned by an insurance run.
I’m irritated with a shortstop’s tag on a base stealer’s back and stay this way.
Then I wind into a stretch, and feel my throat tighten.
For tears bring relief far greater than Mitch Harris and even Carlos Villanueva can offer.
And I recall the days on the field by the barn.
And the muggy afternoons in the greenhouse that left both the flowers and me melting.
I recall catching lifts, via backhoe bucket, between the cherry trees and haybales up the hill.
The Cards pull within one. They seem to come alive as the day lengthens.
In time, me, too.