Beep Baseball

It was late April, perhaps early May,

At the Home for Blind Children

(This was some time ago, so they weren’t visually impaired yet)

And the children, set loose in the resolute glow

Of maybe-Spring-is-finally-here midday sunshine,

Were playing baseball on a field

Taken from the goldenrod and crownvetch through eminent domain. 

Oh, the ball was large, and beeped away like Sputnik,

But it was clearly the game of Cobb and Ruth and Mantle just the same.

The game was ambling along as usual,

Ball bouncing fickly over the uneven dirt infield,

The kids at the plate fixing on the wobbly blaring orb just in time

To nick it with their bats and run (with proper and judicious direction),

Tottering unsteadily around the bases

In accordance with the law as laid down by Abner Doubleday himself.

One of the children, however, inexplicably locked onto the ball

From the moment it left the pitcher’s hand,

Driving it in a high arc past the fielders and over the chain-link boundary

Which had been put up for the Little League teams a couple years earlier.

Strangely enough, both sighted spotters had picked that exact moment

To be miles away from the goings-on on the field,

Perhaps distracted by an unusual bird song, or lost in making plans for their day off,

Maybe even contemplating love yet to be (it was Spring, after all),

And, thus, never saw the flight of the ball on its way to

Its highly unlikely landing place. 

They spent what was left of the afternoon,

The sightless and those with varying degrees of vision,

In a fruitless search through the grass at the edge of the infield

And in the thick grass outside the foul lines,

Never dreaming to look beyond the fence,

While a small herd of cows in the adjacent field stared at them impassively,

Occasionally stopping to bend over and graze on the patchy grass and clover

In the same spots as they had the day before.


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