The smell of a White Pine here in Texas
is wrapped around by the remembered smell of a Scotch Pine in Ohio,
a thousand miles away and two decades after it was shattered
by a lightning bolt.
As I walked by the White Pine in therapeutic steps,
moving just enough to keep my knees from hurting in the night,
but not so much that they would ache into tomorrow, There..
I smelled, for a moment,
my dad in the pine wind
and my brother under the high gingko canopy
of yellow-leafed branches,
and we were, the three of us, playing Catch..
my brother with a catcher’s mitt, oiled and soft,
me with a fielder’s glove, stained in dried mud
and Dad, under the Scotch Pine’s shade, 40 feet away
and 20 years younger than I am now,
scooping (thousands of) boy-thrown baseballs
with so much time
and not a single thought of pain
and only faraway, barely formed thoughts
of this afternoon
ever coming to an end which,
of course, it did:
unanticipated, one day.
So now I press the two fingers which I had
been shown- by my brother? by my dad?-
to hold against the red criss-crossed seam of
the baseball just so,
I press them against the summer sticky bark of
the White Pine
so I can continue to smell dad..
dad and my brother..
and baseballs mitts
now, for awhile
on the walk back home.
@David Weber 2010