Comeback

close up photography of four baseballs on green lawn grasses

Comeback

I’m picturing one of them reclined in his chair,

and the other one sitting on the couch
One with his slippered feet up, and a beer
One with a glass of pop, and a comfortable slouch

Both men wear their casual pants and golf shirts,
and both have intentionally short, completely gray hair
There’s a Jays game on, in the top of the eighth,
and a bowl of peanuts, that both of them share

I can hear their commentary after a pivotal play
Sharp criticism of the base-runner’s choices
Knowledgeable experience that fills their words,
And a youthful exuberance that joins their voices

The subtle jabs of friends are parlayed back and forth
Each ready for a comeback, as the other one slyly talks
“What could an old curler possibly know about baseball”
“You must’ve taken too many blows whenever you’d box”

The spirited rant transitions naturally during a commercial,
away from the second baseman and his prolonged slump
It turns seamlessly back to differing opinions of Trudeau,
and a sarcastically disdain-filled consensus on Trump

You would never know that they were fairly new friends
with the familiarity and the intensity of all they discuss
You wouldn’t suspect that they had met in their eighties
That they’d only met in this last year, and because of us

Their furrowed brows ease back into a playful twinkle
as their jostling conversation becomes their laughter
With a one-run deficit, in the bottom of the eighth,
they’ll find plenty of time for their wisdom, after

I see your father, reaching for the last of the peanuts,
then he pauses, and passes them to my dad instead
I see them sit up straight, suddenly, together in unison,
as a loud two-run homer puts their Jays ahead


I think about them often, when I watch with you

Whatever the sport, and whatever the season
Life has a way of putting good people together
And we are good people, for an obvious reason

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Applause

Applause

I’ve been here many times,
as their childhood has flown past

Sitting alone in the crowd
smiling, and having a blast
A proud, dedicated single parent
gathering memories that will last

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She weaves her way through a defense

that had previously refused to yield
Deft footwork and bursts of speed
guide her down the field
I spring from the edge of my seat
as a late victory is sealed

My legs, energized by her exploit
My lungs, filled with a rush of air
An abrupt acknowledgment of her endeavor
as I quickly rise up from my chair
Emphatic words in a father’s approval
ecstatic to be right there

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I see my teenage powerhouse
as she tumbles across the floor
A round-off and a back handspring
My gasp, and then a perfect two more
An exalted, frightening, wonderful feeling
that resonates to my core

My stomach, churning when she jumps
My heart, leaping when she lands
The uniquely exhilarating anguish
that any parent understands
Proud, as I put down the camera
to free up my hands

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The impetus for my applause
Feats that constantly astound
No urge to look beside me
No need to look around
My two hands, together in the crowd
making their own sound


It seems to me that it’s a graceful gazelle
that suddenly emerges from the pack
Anticipating the exact moment
from my spot along the track
As she glides around the final curve
the others get further and further back

My mind, racing with her to the finish
My senses, tingling from the start
The extent of her accomplishments
matching the size of her heart
Knowing the work ethic and the effort
that always set her apart

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Being early gets me a good seat
Dead center, given the chance
Oblivious of my surroundings
I listen to her play, I watch her dance
Happily lost, inside of myself
My own choice, my soul circumstance

My eyes, no matter what her stage
My ears, for any of the bands
The selfish, singular focus
that any parent understands
Proud, as I put the program down
to free up my hands

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The inspiration for my applause
Daughters who constantly astound
No urge to look beside me
No need to look around
My t
wo hands, together in the crowd
making their own sound


Sitting alone, in the crowd

as each new season has passed
Thankful for each new memory
as time ticks by so fast
Never wondering, or worrying,
if this one will be the last

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