Found Memories by Rick Stephen

Found Memoriesbaseballglove1

In the back of the closet
of my old room
in my parent’s house
I found my old baseball mitt
in a box, creased and torn
barely held together
by yellowed packing tape
and full of things
Mom hadn’t the heart
to toss out
once I’d left home for good

Thank goodness
for it was, to me,
a box of memories
and at the bottom
under various and sundry toys,
photos and memorabilia
there it was, pressed flat
save the well-worn ball
cradled in its webbing
I picked it up slowly
like it deserved reverence

I looked it over, turning it in my hand
looking at the leather stitching,
the marks and mars of heavy use
my name, faded,
barely visible on the wrist strap
I slid my hand inside
tighter today than it was then
I fanned my fingers opening the glove
revealing the ball, more brown than white,
scuffed and scraped,
frayed red stitches running ’round it

I flipped the ball into the air
and was rewarded
with the pleasing sound
of ball striking glove
instinctively
I buried my face in the cowhide
and the familiar smell
of leather and oil,
sweat, red dirt and grass
triggered strong memories
of a young boy

A young boy
simultaneously excited,
anxious and afraid
fidgeting, out in right field
praying the ball not come to him
but hoping that it would, waiting
for his chance to shine
and looking into the stands
for his Dad,
always there,
always cheering him on

Dad gave me this glove
it was old, used
money was tight around our house
but I didn’t mind, I understood
even at that tender age
Mom calling me for dinner
snapped me from the past
I had to pry the child’s glove
from the hand of a man
and pulling hard on the wrist strap
underneath, I saw what I’d not seen before

A name, not mine
“Billy” scrawled there, Dad’s name
mixed feelings flooded me
and I thought, why?
Why would he not tell me
this had been his glove?
Was he ashamed
he couldn’t afford a new one?
How did he not know this glove,
his glove, would be worth more to me
than all the gloves in the world?

Category: By the Poetic Fool, Life | Tags: , , , | 10 comments

  • Love this Richard. Sweet and tender really. Following you!

    [Reply]

    poeticfool Reply:

    Hi, Audrey! I’m so excited to see that you’ve visited my blog. Thank you for the kind words on the poem. I’ve written so little lately. Life has been far too demanding of late, it seems. Thanks for following too. I’m looking forward to reading more of your work soon!

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  • You know Rick this is one of your finest tributes to a dad, your dad. I felt every word and lingered on them for awhile, remembering the days my dad tossed the ball around with me, it wasn’t for a long time, however memorable they will always be. I too played baseball and had a worn out glove and all the feelings you expressed, the fear of catching, yet wanting to rings true. Oh to be a boy again, languish in the memory dear poet, let the smell of oil and leather stream through your soul leaving it with it’s pleasant smells. A beautiful write,most enjoyable to read and then close my eyes to visualize the times.

    [Reply]

    poeticfool Reply:

    Thanks so much, Vincent! Your comment lets me know you understood just what I was trying to get across. That is very satisfying as a writer. Scientists say the sense of smell is tied to the most vivid memories. That certainly seems to be the case with me and the smell of that glove, well, you read the rest. Thanks for the kind words, my friend. Take care!

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  • Sannel says:

    Beautifully penned prose, dear friend. Your descriptive and gripping words paints me the vision of a young boy through the memories of its author. It made me wish that I could find my own box of memories. Unfortunately, that will or could never happen.
    Well done, Rick! I’m so glad to see you writing again, You’ve been missed.

    [Reply]

    poeticfool Reply:

    Thank you for the beautiful comments, dear friend! You know how highly I value your opinion of my writing. Just remember, whether you can or will ever find a similar box of memories, the largest and most complete box is in your heart. No one will or even can take that box away from you. Thanks again, my dear friend.

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  • Susan Sproull says:

    Hi Rick,

    Such a beautiful tribute to your dad. Warm and wonderful childhood memories.

    Take care

    Sue

    [Reply]

    poeticfool Reply:

    Thank you, Sue! I’m so happy to have you visit my blog. Thank you for the kind words, my friend. I hope all is well with you.

    [Reply]

  • This one made me tear up, Rick. Missing my parents, this kind of thing just touches my heart. Beautifully done…

    [Reply]

    poeticfool Reply:

    Thank you, Amy! I would be less than truthful, if I said I was sorry. As a writer, I hope to move people emotionally with my words and it’s very gratifying to hear when that happens. I must confess to my eyes getting moist as I wrote this one. I miss my father very much. Thanks for reading and the very kind comment, Amy!

    [Reply]


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