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Baseball is back and I’m glad that it is,
And here is my answer, should there be a quiz
About why its return is more perfectly good
Than the sound of the ball as it’s meeting the wood
Of the bat in the hands of the guy at the plate,
Because baseball is back and — no question — that’s great.
The world, as we age, spins more quickly, it seems,
And the flying time eats at the scope of our dreams.
The flights we’ve imagined to various stars…
Dreams get whittled to fit beside us in our cars,
As the daily stuff piles up like leaves in a yard
Where the trees won’t give up, and the raking is hard.
(I’m not sure you’ll think that this makes any sense,
But I’m picturing leaves all piled up at a fence…
All those garbage bags filled, and the job still undone.
It’s a far cry from all we might label as fun.)
But that’s fall, and it’s spring, and spring’s baseball, no doubt,
Where that ball’s fair or foul, and you’re safe or you’re out…
Because baseball’s the same as it’s been for a while,
Which delights me no little, provokes me to smile,
At the wondrous illusion, completely deranged,
That despite time’s grim ravages, nothing has changed.
Oh, I know it’s nuts to see baseball that way:
It is altered, this game that they’re playing today…
For the rules have changed slightly, the money’s insane,
But except for the coldest of days and the rain,
The game is a constant, dependable sound,
In the long string of nights of whatever we’ve found
To fill lives that need filling, as lives always do,
Which is certain today and has always been true,
And the background of baseball’s monotonous hum
Can lead us to figure that we’re not so dumb
If we tend to pretend in an innocent way
That the time that is constantly racing away
Simply isn’t. For baseball’s not timed, and an inning
Can end in just minutes or just be beginning
When six or eight fellows have come up to bat.
It has always been thus, so let’s recognize that
Though the game may seem slow to the folks who complain,
It’s a gift for the rest of us. Here’s the refrain:
As the days all accelerate, shouldn’t we treasure
Each break that we get from compulsion to measure?
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