I Like Your Hat
You're sweet and smart, with a dimpled smile.
You've won my heart with your flash and style.
I hope you win every single game,
I'll glory in your well-earned fame.
Are you single? (I'm afraid to know!)
Have some kringle. Now go crush your foe.
—Margaret Gilhooley, Kamm's Corners
Congratulations to a Deserving Soul
This blue, blue sky, without a cloud,
The yellow sun, without a shroud.
Your wide, wide smile shows pearly teeth;
We drape you with a laurel wreath.
You've won again! We'll dance and sing!
And crown you truly, Champs of Spring!
—Mitch Whaley, Brook Park
You Made My Dreams Come True
I dreamed of prancing unicorns,
And jeweled maidens picking daisies,
And corn-fed angels tooting horns,
And in the bleachers, drunken crazies;
Policemen simply laugh and cheer,
And click their heels to celebrate.
There'll be no need for riot gear,
These happiest days since '48!
—Antoinette Victoria Gryzbowska, North Olmstead
My Death Cannot Come Too Soon
The empty, frozen dugout is cluttered with waste,
Wasted youth, spent hopes, shuttered dreams—
Hey, Nickie, how's it going! Do you like your cubicle? Can I get you some coffee? Hey, I see you've started already! Can I see it?
Vell, uh, Teem, I uh, yess, I'm goot. I haf leetle poem, not rilly ready yet...
Oh, just a peek! I know it'll be great!
Um, vell, I tell you, let me read some to you.
Um, vell, okeh: "De leetle birts are flyink high, De sunshine sparkle on der vings... De wholesome lads elicit sighs from pretty lasses perched on svings..."
Ooh, sounds good! Can't wait for the rest! Well, keep the faith, baby!
Yah, see yuh. ... Neetveet. Sigh. Okeh, ver vass I?
I spit. I cannot get this bitter taste
Of bile from my mouth, nor can reams
Of florid words salvage this death-march...
My uncle warned us huddled by his death bed,
Whose bellies growl, whose throats are parched:
"Do not trust anyone in hats of red!"
—Nikolai Rubtsov, Vologda