Concerning the tiny clods of dirt layered on the cleats of shoes:
Might they remain after each series, and move from place to place?
There, a bit of mud from Tampa, and a piece of dirt from Kansas City.
Here, a player crossed the white line and stomped until his shoes picked up clots.
He collected dust from each park and carefully sorted it into a jar.
Here, his knees bled from the metal beneath his opponents’ feet.
Call it an unspoken rule and turn it into a blessing.
There, a pitch that grazed the letters stitched on the back of his jersey.
There was something to carry from one park to the next.
At first easily distinguishable, each clod clung to another.
And the jar grew so heavy that the player stopped adding to his collection.
Then he lost a step. Call it a mid-summer slump, or age.
He ran until until he was called out.
And then he sat on a wooden bench, flicking the dirt from his shoes.
But his hands were still so dry that they began to crack and bleed.
Still, from one park to the next.by