Baseball: A Metaphor

 BASEBALL: A METAPHOR

by Geoffrey Jones

 

The anthem escapes into the sky and

Disappears among clouds that pose no

Immediate threat to the proceedings…

And diamonds are a fans best friend…

 

Blades of bright green grass stand

Clipped and manicured in opposition

To the rust colored dirt that soon will

Stage the game… That mystical

Pastime which can only be denied by

The most jaded of spirits…

 

Home plate is set like a gem where

The left and right field lines intersect…

At a ninety degree angle that defines

The boundaries of western civilization

As we know it… The lines speak truth

To chaos and underscore the primacy

Of order and time-honored traditions…

Everything else is foul… And the object

Of the game is to keep the ball safely

In play… Straight down the middle…

Over the plate… That place where

Most people call home…

 

And where else would you take your son

Or daughter to teach them all about life…

Or to enjoy a warm summer afternoon…

 

Pretzels, beer, and hot dogs are eagerly

Consumed by weary people who come to

This place to lose themselves… Or to find

Themselves for a few precious hours…

Away from the fury and the fright of

Everyday life… And it’s the integrity…

The sheer democracy of the game…

Without compromise or irony… That

Keeps them coming back year after year…

It’s the purity and the justness that

Speaks to the hearts of the ordinary men

And women in the stands who live by

A certain code…

Billboards on the outfield wall endorse

Hand soap, shaving cream, and laundry

Detergents in colorful ways… But walls

Are not always useful or pleasing to

The eye… But sooner or later everything

Is finally distilled and neatly summarized

In a catalogue of simple truths… As “Play

Ball” rings out from behind the plate… It’s

All about the game…

 

The lead-off hitter digs in and taps the back

Of his cleats with the tip of his bat… A

Pitcher winds up and delivers a wicked

Slider… As the ump, like a courtroom judge…

Crouches down low to make the call…

“Strike one”, he barks… While the ghosts

Of Aaron, Mantle, and Mays disagree…

But that’s the American way… Sweet,

Priceless dissent…

 

And dissent alone doesn’t make America

Great again… To think that way is to

Suggest that America has stopped being

Great… Such rubbish… Good riddance

To bad trash… It’s honest dissent that

Establishes and defends our greatness…

 

The batter turns in anger and glares at

The ump…

 

No one comes to major harm on the

Ballfield… And no one is ever turned

Away… Surnames on uniforms affirm

The goodness of our nature and applaud

The efforts of players from somewhere

Else… Men who would play ball for free…

Simply for the love of it…

 

And now it’s April… Winter is gone and

Good things happen in Spring… And in

The time it takes to turn a slick double

Play the season will end… The dog days

Of July and August will fly by… To be

Filed away along with the recollections

Of other seasons past… The Series

Will yield another champion in October…

And yes, November will arrive soon

Enough… The clubhouse will be emptied…

 

There’s always a new season to embrace…

A new beginning… Rosters will change…

Thank God… And players will be assigned

To different positions… Some will be traded

Or injured… While some will be waived or

Benched… But this is all good… As bad

Seasons are swept away along with bad

Agendas…Next year’s opening day will

Hold better things in store… Along with the

Revelation that some players are strictly

Minor league…

 

 

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