ODE TO OPENING DAY by Skip Murray 

With the season’s Opening Day 

Come the sound of bats of balls
With Opening Day

Come the smell of leather 

Of newly hewn grass 

The sun on the back

Of dusty winds 
The imagination moves

Of possibilities

Of your team doing best

Of being on top

Of leading the way

With Opening Day 

Babe in front of his locker

“Hi kid,” 

To Babe, everyone is kid
With Opening Day

Come my self-declared holiday

No longer do I wait for Opening Day, National Holiday

It is It is mine It will always be
Isn’t it a day when kids get sick?

Can’t go to school?

When parents realize how serious this ailment is?

Isn’t it a day when the mind can’t concentrate?

Loses its power to steady?

A day the mind wanders hither and yon?




The watch consulted

The mind at the park

Number 3 steps out of the dugout

Seventy thousand rising cheers undulate
Players pick up feel

Scratchy new uniforms
With Opening Day

The stomach jumps

Meeting with the watch

Train leaves one hour

What to do with such immense expanse of time? 

A visit to the bathroom

Players pulling up their trousers now

Ready to step into black shining shoes 

A gleaming pearl in the starter’s shoe
What are the umpires doing now? 

This moment?

Probably not at the park 

Sure they are 

Where else to be? 

Not having a leisurely meal

Not now
Into the pockets 

Yep the tickets
Sit down Stand up 

Down at the watch 

To the window 

Up at the sky
Bright white sphere in ethereal blue

Sparkling on emerald green 

An umbrella of cobalt blue
The wind in the trees is light

An outfielder glides under a ball

Will there be any spectacular plays today? 
The shoulders rise

The blood pumps Thump Thump 

The watch 

Still to wait
They’ve got to be throwing the ball around now 

On Opening Day, did Babe get butterflies?
Such ritual
Opening Day

A National Holiday

We must make it so
“Welcome to Opening Day, kid.”

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