Earth’s Memento


Baseball. Sex. Rock-n-roll.

Paramount in the domain of my pimpled,
awakening contemporaries. Informal, that
baseball. Limited personnel. Non-luxurious,
windblown neighborhood ballyards.

My elusive grounder rolls over the lumpy
outfield, glancing and hopping. Headfirst slide
into home, adding drama to my young life. I
could have loped and knew it.

Caught a mouthful of dirt and grit. Plugs me for
a second. No onlookers; unseen in my glory. No
catcher. No infielders. My own drama,
manufactured. I ran the bases in solitude.

What’s left is the grit. I coughed, dusted myself
off, but that grit; a distinct sensation. Grind my
jaw to extend the exploration; charting course,
with Earth’s memento between my teeth.

There also was a backyard, a lumpy backyard. I
trip and fall and find another wad of dirt. Penny
Moreland, all of nine years but stronger than I,
straddles me, taking pleasure ejecting my plug
of garden dirt.

Dear cowgirl, how different was the drama of
your moment from the drama of my moment at
that moment; without onlookers, as was
preferred. But not in solitude, which was
refreshing.

You too left bits of grit in my mouth, like the
slide into home plate, leaving me with grit to
grind.

Was the drama of youth misspent as youth
itself? There was drama in the grit of the
ballyard and the grit of the backyard and like all
early summers, full of unprocessed discoveries.

From where comes drama now? What is to be
discovered? I trust my solitude, my lack of
onlookers, for I have created beauty and drama
alone in the studio of my mind.

–R.A.Falesch, in progress

Read at SLAP meeting of 2012-06-12, in response
to the challenge: “…write of a memory of the
summer we were twelve years old.” Announcing it
to the members as “unfinished” did not elicit
the sought-after sympathy :–)


That ballyard of my youth is still there, but, alas, the backyard where Penny* and I frolicked is not. I visited the ballyard in 2008 and, except for the new drinking fountain and its fancy pedestal, it looked exactly the same as it did when I was twelve. No small consolation, that.

Elmwood School Ballyard

*She was quite real, but the name Penny Moreland is not.

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