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Pitcher on the Train

from Reaching For Some Light by McDougall

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Back then, when just my hometown knew my name
They said I was the best they’d ever raised into the game
Every pitch I threw my joy was all the same
In a dirt field on the edge of town grew the man that I became

The folks at home encouraged me to roam with an offer that was made me
So like others, I stepped on that train to see where the game might take me
I soon fell in love with laughter and all the wonders I did see
Occasional distractions grew more steady and soon free

It all started to blur, but now I see it clear
The times we had in each new town slowly lost their cheer
I turned back to the mound and found myself facing the fear
That I was slowly losing the game I held so dear

I thought of my grandfather and his form up on that mound
Sizing up the big ones and then chopping them all down
He never lost his love for the game or his hometown
What would he do now, if he rose up from this ground?

A faithful man whose lifelong plan was teaching the younger ones
Like me they were so happy firing off with the old guns
The burden on his shoulder could have measured up in tons
He a grandma gave up everything to raise up faithful sons

My father, so much like him, but with fire in his talk
Taught me it means nothing if you cannot rightly walk
He said, now listen son, I’ve known what it’s like to balk
But don’t give up and lie down or they’ll outline you in chalk

I pondered on these things before and after every game
While most of my new teammates kept on seeking more acclaim
But I could not shake the feeling that I had lost my aim
So far from my first love with no one else to blame

I floundered in the feast they laid out before my eyes
Devoured past my portion, started believing lies
But the joy would not return among the leftovers and flies
No longer just a game, in the last inning someone dies

Wish I could say I took some time to really clear my brain
And see what kind of good could come from this confusing pain
Maybe show the young ones the sun after the rain
But I’m still looking out the window, just one more pitcher on the train


from Reaching For Some Light, released May 20, 2016


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McDougall Detroit, Michigan


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