Elegy for Uncle Bill
In some theories of time,
everything is happening at once,
your birth and death and all your lovemaking:
in one corner of the curved universe,
you're playing catch with your brother
in the backyard, wearing the shorts
and matching ball-caps from the photo
on the shelf beside the kitchen window.
The collie dog from the same picture
is running between you, barking,
and your mitt is new, not yet
shaped to your palm and smells
of the oil your father is teaching you to rub into it,
as he sits drinking beer and eating peanuts
listening to the Indians game.
Or maybe it's 1948, the last year
Cleveland won the Series, and
you know all the players' names, the
batting averages, and ERAs.
You pretend to be Lou Boudreaux
as you run the imaginary baseline
through the tall grass, rounding past
your valedictory speech at second.
There's a throw-down on the
third baseline. You run back and forth
between your children and grandchildren
before sliding into home to land
in your backyard with your brother,
the ball curving between you,
spinning in its arc.