From one of the little boxes in the exurb’s southwest arm,
Run riot now, but then a facade, behind which the tangle of oak and buckeye,
Growing in the gently rippled furrows of a long dead farm,
And from which tumbled the visiting raccoons. Our cats stole Jays from the swooping sky.
Other places called. Before the stories were even begun,
We were gone: a trail of tears, really, but what Pharaoh decrees is done.
From a cardboard box in the trunk, Wahoo bobbles a farewell,
Maybe knowing, in his plastery way, he would not, intact, outlast my youth.
Other lineups were studied, other stances copied:
KessingerBeckertWilliamsSantoBanks, safely from another league,
Lifted rocks off the ends of wrist-thick sticks into the weedy field.
The radio reaches for my team in the scratchy night,
And they come in, a few pitches at a time, from Detroit,
And Texas, and Minneapolis. But it is other calls that come in clearly:
"Back. . . Back. . . Back. . . Hey Hey!" And later, "It will fly away!" And later still,
More egregiously, "It is high, it is far, it is gone!"
I wait, without knowing, for this era.
I wonder, in my wanderings, what will come of my benighted nine,
Threatened, now and then, with extinction, or exile. Will these men,
Wearing foreign garb, still hold me in their thrall? And I know: No.
My own removal requires their constancy. They must be the still pole
At the center of my travels.
Pharaoh mostly sleeps now. The shards of plaster Wahoo,
Scattered in some time of teenage troubles,
Reassemble in these pixels on my screen,
And whisper all the names: Romano and Horton, Heidemann and Bell,
Feller, Bagby, Alvis, Harrah, Heath, Swisher, Kipnis. The ranks swell,
And weaving among them, words playing off deeds, another rollcall,
Jay and Ryan, Choo and Ockus, Emily, Dorn, Junkballer, Fwembt,
Salome, Julie, FredOx, Cols, all kinds of Nicks,
All following the fortunes of this Erie-dwelling Tribe,
Tracing the intricate paths of four-seamers through a humid night,
Rising and falling with Hammy’s exploding teases,
Dissecting, disputing, discoursing, following a trail and forging one,
Like a steadfast Ohio farmer eight score years ago, trudging behind his plow,
Leaving a furrow.
by YoDaddyWags on Apr 2, 2013 | 10:21 AM rec