Before we even threw the ball once in this ridiculous March wind — gusts up to 50 mph! — I felt a pop. I looked down and there was a loose string on my old glove.
It took 28 years to break my first string on my favorite glove. It’s almost absurd how much emotional energy I’ve invested in this glove. From high school to college to graduate school and all the moves of marriage, this glove has never been packed away. Thankfully, the broken string was just on the wrist, so it wouldn’t really affect today’s game.
I guess I need to rewrite my glove tribute poem.
I showed my glove to Loren and he sympathized immediately.
“This was supposed to be my in-between glove.”
A Bobby Bonds signature model Wilson he got in 4th grade.
“But I fell in love with it, almost like it became a part of me. I never not know where this glove is,” Loren said.
Loren said it perfectly.
Loren is a poet who passes on his love of baseball and history as a teacher at the high school from which I graduated. I wanted to play catch with Loren because he wrote one of my favorite baseball poems.
Across butterscotched grass
of February, and through
immodest oaks and maples,
the afternoon sunlight busies
itself, always slanting
into the eyes this time
of year, and brightly battling
the northeast wind. There
is something brave to all
this. I stand amazed
on such days as boys
across the way at the high school
hit batting practice,
anticipating, as boys
–February 28, 2004
It’s the word “anticipating” that I love so much. Each day, I wake up anticipating that day’s game of catch, and there is a hope and a joy and a simple excitement as I start stretching as soon as my feet hit the ground. I can only hope that Loren would describe Catch 365 as “something brave.”
We met at the high school and sheltered next to the building on the southeast side, near the benches that were gifted to the school from my graduating class.
I was thrilled to learn that Loren has a new book of poetry coming out next month, “Joe DiMaggio Moves Like Liquid Light.” I cannot wait to read it.
As we talked and caught up, Loren greeted every person exiting the school, even those who laughed at our catch playing craziness.
And then it started snowing.
A haiku in honor of Day #65:
still baseball season.
For the time being, I’m not going to repair the broken string. Maybe I’ll get the chance to ask Wilson’s glove maker Aso for his advice at some point this year.