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


free and


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

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