Issue Twenty-Eight - Summer 2016

How You Could Understand

By Steve Jeffries

A poem that answers the question
“What is it about you and this baseball stuff?”

If you wrote love letters to Mickey and Roger and Yogi,
If you waited all day for the call, just
to see if you made the team;

If your dad went to meetings about diamonds
and to see how much that cheap bastard
who owned the lumber yard
would pony up for those scratchy wool uniforms.

If you went to bed at night;
lump under your mattress,
a ball in the pocket,
Neatsfoot oil,
brand new,
ball glove,
wrapped in a towel,
something to sleep on,
something to dream on.

If you knew first hand
the terrific smell of burnt wood and horsehide,
how they combine in a foul ball,

If the picture arrived,
8×12 glossy, stamped,
DO NOT BEND: New York, New York.

If your whole school sat in the gym listening
to AM radio, as a stunned Mel Allen
told you of Bill Mazeroski’s home run against the Yankees,
If you cried on your way back to class,

Then, you could understand.

Copyright Jeffries 2016

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