Eight years old,
the baseball my grandfather saved
from a burned‑out store, fire
imprinted in rawhide, brown stain
lost in scuffs, but never its scent
of smoked hot dogs, restitched
with nylon thread until the cover wore off,
wound in black electrical tape,
shining like any playground ball.
But when I rub it with spit
and squeeze my glove,
pocket pressed to my face
like an oxygen cup,
I smell the lingering fire,
ball flashing over cottonwoods,
ascending out of view.
Terry survived several decades of commuting to software engineering jobs at Silicon Valley startups after studying literature at Emory and Binghamton. His stories and poems have recently appeared in Jersey Devil Press, Longshot Island, Valparaiso Poetry Review and other publications. Check out his website.