Linseed and leather.
Here on the field, the fly balls are arcing, punching leather, scaring gulls, white pixel tangents in a blue sky. The only trigonometry I understood. My first stirrups, all tucked in and tight. Ready to play, suited up and breathing the linseed. Breathe in earth, feel the silence and hush draw deep. The ball lands in the pocket, smack-perfect. Bat to ball, wood to grain, the numb echo of a perfect hit. Tsk-whack-tsk went the sprinklers in the outfield. Before the locusts, before the deadlines, back when our exhaustion was earned. Tonight, over to the side, an arc of cricketers catch and jump, diving, lunging, reflexing old arms and knees. Memories of an Dharamsala dusk, red leather all shined up on the left, picked seams ready to spin and confound. Ghosts of empires fighting under a ceiling of glory blue and white. I'm pacing in my 21 steps, winding up, surfacing to reach for the sky. Lawson, Lillee, Thompson, where are you now, my heroes?