[Six and growing, I wondered why

I couldn’t marry mommy and live

On Townsend Street forever.]

Seven and growing, I played baseball

Day and night, diving

For grounders, liners, and lobs

Across the front yard.

Dad or the chimney throwing to me

Until no light lit the summer nights—

Looking forward to when I could

Play for real.

Not good, not bad; just fun, dreaming

Of being Molitor, Yount, Gantner,

Cooper, Thomas, or Oglivie.

But never really wishing

I was anyone but me—

Limitless potential; no regrets, except

For not being old enough.

Eight and still growing, not knowing

What was in store, but wanting, needing more.

Nine and still growing, baseball was for real

And so was I—early first round

Draft pick pitcher. Nine years old against

A twelve year-old league.

Ten and still growing