Parked at a curb facing
soccer fields filled with children,
I listen to their chatter,
take in their laughter.
In the mix are deeper voices
sounds of reluctant parents drafted
by their spouses, or self-appointed
guides to the game.
I close my eyes to absorb these sounds.
It is a symphony: Less distinguished
strains of distant fields support
clearer melodies of nearer play.
A gleeful scream of a five-year old
accentuates the flowing movement.
Here and there a goal brings
a crescendo of praise and adulation.
Far more is invested in routine
practice than in the occasional
And it is the adult who invests
attention in these hours who
becomes youthful, relearning
the language of innocence,
understanding the music of play.