MarsEarth

Old world wisdom, new world insight – poems, poetry, philosophy, dreams, commentary, ideas

Freckles

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By Lawrence J. J. Leonard

I once new a boy with bright red hair
he loved playing baseball and wore his cap like a Pro
who was my teammate and friend and shared my love of the game

He was a First Baseman with an oddly shaped glove
telling me it was for digging out grounders
and netting errant throws plus secretly, a shield for “cup” choppers

We were all so lanky or lumpy or ready for testing
the limits of our stamina and speed and agility
with a camaraderie newly fashioned by the game itself

Every practice in Texas’ winter sun
every exhibition in the springtime gave us
red cheeks, redder noses, and the reddest necks

While most of the starters went from ochre to tan
the rest managed a darker brown or black
as the red haired boy got freckles where we all had burned

When that spring day arrived and we played our season opener
under clouds low enough to shade us from glare
while we sweated the basics on the field and in our stomachs

I remember we lost 5 to 4
despite a rally that no novel could capture
because our sheer determination was borne from will

Afterward when the families visited the dugouts
we saw the red haired boy’s family in all manner of freckles
and I noticed his older sister, a princess with tawny hair

Then I realized the struggle to win after just flexing muscle
plus hearing the calls of the girls in the stands
exhorted us all to be gallant and noble

This colored our prowess as athletes, though we were young,
and it caused me to strive to be a better player and a champion
all that to win a smile from the girl covered in freckles

Baseball is attractive because there is advancement to bases
on a diamond in a park with sunny days and the only thing
that made it better was the teenaged girl with freckles cheering for me

I once new a boy with bright red hair
he loved playing baseball, wore his cap like a Pro,
and I had a crush on his freckle faced sister

Copyright © 1960-2016 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.

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