Shea Stadium in Springtime and Young and Alive

I recall my uncle,
          my mother's brother,
took me to a baseball game when I was a boy.
          It was Springtime in the City,
and my arms were warm from the Summer-like sun.
                    I swam a lot then,
                              I don't swim much anymore.

My uncle,
          my mother's brother,
          drove me to the game in the City,
                              and I remember
approaching over the long highways
between Connecticut and New York.
          The difference between
                    tree-lined New England streets and parks
                              to the suburban hubbub of Pelham,
                                                            of Bronx,
                                                                      of Flushing.
                              A great towering of gray castles
                                        looming in the far horizon
                                                  under skies of orange
                                                                      and pink
                                                                                and indigo blue.

          The stadium was half empty,
                              we were early,
                                        and we put our feet
                                                  on the seats in front.
                                        High above the field,
                              we ate hot dogs
                    and talked baseball.
My uncle,
          a crackerjack infielder,
                    had his career sidelined
                              when he took a line-drive to the forehead.
          ...said he'd taken his eye off the ball
                                        for a split-second.
          That was enough.

          I never took my eye off the ball.

          We watched the game,
                    the Mets were terrible
          but we rooted for them anyway.
                    Cheered every hit and
                              threw popcorn at every out.
                    Shouted encouragement from our cheap seats
                              miles in the sky.

In-between innings my gaze would wander
                              wander toward the West,
          the sparkles of the distant skyscrapers
          made me wonder
                    wonder who I would become.
          The ache of every possibility to come
                    to a boy on the cusp of manhood,
                              the ache of not-knowing.

Hoping...  and never knowing.

          Was anyone ever so young?
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