On a clipboard marked “Adam Williams 1-B,” I have a stack of poetry I wrote years ago. The prose poem below digs into a mystery, reflecting on moments of father-son catch in the backyard gone by and forgotten.

Decades have passed. Now, I have sons. One of them, at six years old, is the age I was when I carried my clipboard to school. 1-B. As in first grade, classroom B.

Where does a childhood go? Time is that unslowable element that cloaks memories and revises stories in a haze. I read the poem below and wonder what my sons might remember, might write, might ______ decades from now.

“Catch”

I don’t remember the first time I played a game of catch in the backyard with Dad. Nor do I remember the last. But there was one. And there was one. Maybe Dad had cut the grass only minutes before. Maybe I had. Or maybe we were on summer vacation, standing so many paces apart like dueling pistoliers who’d stomped from the orange-striped pop-up family camper, wanting a stretch and father-son memory making.

If so, where did those memories go? Are they behind the backyard woodpile we stacked then left years ago, where a patch of soil welcomed our Dachshund-like dog? Are they clinging to the too-firm leather of a Rawlings baseball glove I inscribed first name and last with black marker and — what? Sold … lost … packed in a box and stowed?

Where? To await fresh release to once again cradle the pop of a grass-stained dingy white comet thrust from the aging hairy knuckles of good ol’ Dad? Maybe that glove could tell me about the last game of catch we had, whisper something of a secret about what it felt like and where when how.

Did we smile with our metronomic motions of catching, cocking, tossing? Did Dad wink and say, “Nice throw, Son,” before we answered Mom’s call to eat green beans and corn pulled from the garden over there? Just what exactly was our game of catch, its beginning and its end. There was one. And there was one.

 


Other projects I have in the works: Humanitou conversationsportraits of naturepoetry of nature and writing yoga. I also am a content partner of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region and PeakRadar.com. #showyourwork

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