Tinker to Evers to Chance

Dawn is the rising star of my day
and a ball of black fur shakes between my knees –
‘the end of the world is coming’ –
crackerjacks light fires in the sky.
And you had gotten away from the city
running towards shaded trees
and Coppertone.

I laughed at my father the poet –
who didn’t know it
as he highlighted my kindred verse
‘tears on flowers
no rain today
tears on clouds
sprinkle my way.’
And you rejected poetry, sending me
notice in a white business letter.
You turned your head towards needle
on song.

My pencil challenges the New York Times.
And you always beat me at poker.

Goethe is ‘Goethe’ I say,
letting black fluid rummage in my veins.
Goethe is ‘Goothe’ you pronounce.
You would riddle me with passages,
words that reflect a brother’s thoughts,
teasers – I could never abide it.
But you would always laugh.

I pivot my eye on the ball
hoping for another strike.
‘And that will be the fourth strikeout of this game.’
We get high on Strohs and popcorn
and cheer at outlandish scores.
You asked me who the third baseman was,
you, the expert, waiting for an answer.
I didn’t disappoint you –
you and your Harry Steinfeldt.
and me with my braids.

1975

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