One Day There’s Baseball

by Patrick Dubuque

img_1691One day there’s baseball
So much of it. So many stories
So many things you have to care about
Numbers and names
That represent
Other numbers and names
Each day an elimination game
Each game a portent
Each action a lesson learned
The sun beating down on plastic chairs
Boiling ten-dollar beers
And men shouting for everything
And the baby starts to cry
Rubbing the dome of her head
Against week-old whiskers

One day there’s baseball
And the next day it’s dark
And your daughter has learned
What Almond Joys are
The purple glitter shaken
From the used Halloween costume
Settling into skin and lungs
Cartoon soundtracks
So loud you may as well be writing them
And the world is too cold outside
And the world falls apart
And the lines on the pavement
(Icy enough to force you to walk
Carefully, slowly, like an old man)
Count off quarter-seconds of winter