One hundred years ago it would have been a sea splattered
with straw hats, sixty-years back, with white shirts and fedoras.
Today fans wear jerseys with names and numbers
of their imagined selves, as if seventeen in perpetuity,
living / dying / living again with every pitch,
smelling the green grass and hot dogs, yelling as if…
And here and there a suit and tie in a corporate seat
close to the dugouts. (Maybe a client to land a contract)
Vendors hawking, Hey peanuts, getcha peanuts,
low decibels of coiled expectation. Intervals
interrupted by action. The punctuation of baseball music -
barrel of bat meets stitched ball
spinning in orbit … crack of wood, sphere launched.
A young artist in the stands looks across the diamond.
Out of focus she sees the crowd as a
Jackson Pollock action painting, wide stretch
of a pale blur in calculated frenzy.
She, too, on her feet in this charged moment -
all eyes on the sudden vortex of runner sliding home
with catcher-in-waiting and umpire in black leaning over,
horizontal form in combustion with vertical and diagonal ump,
cloud of dirt produced by spikes and a hand reaching
out to touch the plate in evasive twist of the body.
The artist knows then she will never paint still
life again; she will chase the wind with incendiary brush strokes,
spend decades bringing that fusion of forces
to life from palette to easel with 42,836 cheering / cursing
voices heard coming out of the canvas.