Monthly Archives: October 2012

A Sort of a Baseball Poem

I was never as good at baseball as I would have wanted to be
But I loved the gallery of faces and the litany of stories surrounding the game
I learned the clichés and the archetypes and the history without memorizing one stat

It was a threatening and brutish sky the night that I found out about Old Moose Skowron
The craggy lightning separated the sky like the creases separated his face
Somehow the boy of summer became an old man of many long winters

I read about it in a weekly while driving my bus full of young kids around the city
These kids probably didn’t go back any further than Rollie Fingers or Catfish Hunter
The thunder rolled hard and without mercy across the purple night sky

I met Moose once at his bar and was surprised at how big he was for an old man
I met Moose once and was surprised at how big he was for a baseball player
I met Moose once and he was all that was good about baseball in the old days

My father was a left-handed pitcher in a league that favored right-handers
Sometimes I feel like I am a left-handed man in a world full of right-handed people
The sky is quiet now – Moose and my father are in the same place
And I am ripping open sunflower seeds and thinking about tomorrow’s game 

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Dustbowl Kansas 1930

Dustbowl Kansas 1930 gave me a sideways glance
Under the highway at the Ashland/Damen exit
The sun burned off her skin like anger
It dared me to question her choices

She resented my middle-aged paunch
She hated me for my warm bed and fresh coffee
She wanted to reach into my safety and break it

Dustbowl Kansas 1930 holds up a cardboard sign
Under the highway at the Ashland/Damen exit
The sun has burned her brown like an adobe hut
It could have been more kind – but why bother

I resent her for my insurance bills
I hate her for her freedom and her fearlessness
I want to reach into her life and get my hands dirty