For the first time, he runs toward Spring.
Each step, a squish of mud and fire.
His expression blends fear and determination.
The baseball dies in a No Man's Land
between the coach and his mitt.
"Charge the ball, David," the coach implores
Charge the ball, my thoughts echo.
He walks toward the ball with caution,
as if he can sense the imaginary sniper
that murdered his intentions
twenty feet shy of second base.
I can hear the click-clack
of his mental abacus:
They drill grounders for fifteen minutes.
"Charge the ball" lives in the air like
hummingbird elusive math theorem.
He never reaches a solution.
The Coaches call a shift in the drills.
Coach Grounder points him towards home plate
and he hydroplanes for the diamond.
There is fresh mud to spatter.
The joyous promise of aluminum might.
Fielding practice and its trials
are so much flattened grass and laughter.
But I still hear the click-clack,
counting the steps,
of a run towards Spring.