Spring Training

August 28, 2008 at 2:44 am (Mary McQueary, Soliloquy)


Sitting along the first base line, the sky is blue heading into dusk.
Beginning to rise above the stadium the orange moon.
White uniforms crisp against the grassy green blades.
Behind me is a man, reminiscent of a World Wrestling Federation defender.
Smooth shaved head, heavy gold chain around neck with pendant of monster truck.
Tanned and excited, a fan of baseball. I wonder what he does for a living.
The man in front follows these up-and-coming players heading to the major leagues.
“Jose Reyes, shortstop, 18,” he says, “he won’t be here long, he’s big dollar guaranteed.”
Hot dogs and french fries, lemonade, and Cracker Jacks all around.
Peanut shells crunch below my sandaled feet. From where they came I do not know.
Hard swings and the sound of the wooden bat. Not out of the park tonight.
The catcher looks so close to the batter. I would hesitate to full out swing.
His throw is hard and fast, the ball smacking hard in the pitcher’s glove.
The men toss statistics over me back and forth.
The information filters down upon my head and I become filled with their love of the game and smile.
The game ends and the lights go dark. Count down 20 to 1. The explosions begin. Boom, boom.


Gold and pink. Purple and blue. Sizzling large green sparks fill the sky. Flowers of fire.
I shrink at the thought of getting burnt, petal embers falling upon my skin.
More flowers. Tiny shocking white ones. Blinding flashes. They appear close. Too close.
Every Friday home game they tell me. I am stunned.
Such beauty and yet it feels so utterly horribly sinful.
They treat so casually as if everyone in the world saw this on a typical casual weekend.
I am sobbing inside for others who will not remember this tomorrow,
for those who will shrug it off and say when asked what they did for the weekend, “nothin’ much”.


– Mary McQueary


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