There were at least a thousand different moments that day
August 13th 1971, my thirteenth birthday.
It’s not the long line of baseball fans
on a hot afternoon
winding their way up the ramps
circling Three Rivers Stadium like a python preparing for dinner.
It’s not the grey concrete walkway
speckled and spattered with
and something that might have been food.
Not even the sudden rush of fans pushing together
as the clubhouse door swung open
and like baseball cards come to life,
two Pirates emerged to sign autographs.
It might have been the face
of Roberto Clemente
with blazing eyes that met my own for an eternal moment
maybe not even that.
It was, however,
the feeling of my feet leaving the floor
and my father’s hands
as he lifted me above the crowd
and his voice
younger than I had ever heard
“There he is!, the great one!”
That was the moment.
That is the moment.
- Kevin Slick