Cigarette drags are what this memory smells
like. Dancing with burger smoke to music
of youth nostalgia stealing bases, throwing
heaters; parents are fans filling bleachers.
One-hundred-degree days, a sunburnt
face and hands holding trophies gripped with
blisters that callus into off-speeds and sliding
two-seams that changeup into no-hitters.
Green gatorade was my first example
of replenish, I think those days are what
taught me how to finish. And practice made me
get used to repetition, failure, and commitment.
A twelve-year-old audition to learn to work
and earn every position. Cuts can hurt and
some never picked up a bat again. But others did learn
blood is only temporary, pain can’t last forever,
and scars are revenge.