Near the edge of this old town
Peopled with families that have been around
As long as the trees,
There is a natural depression in the ground
That was the perfect place to build the baseball fields.
When the children square up to the plate, take swing,
Or turn the bases, take the mound,
A hundred little phrases come to mind--
The old advice-- like, "Watch the bat hit the ball"
And "Don't wait for it to come to you"--
And they want to do it right, with narrow gazes,
They aspire to do as they are told.
It's a game that teaches them to focus
With its slowness and the way it forces choices.
I wonder if they notice, like I do,
That behind the bemused parents cheering them,
There is another ring of spectators,
The trees themselves respectfully
Look on behind the fences. Some of them
Have climbed the hills to get a better view,
And they cheer too-- not quieter, but lower,
And their advice is different. They whisper, "Slower."