Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Baseball Poems 7: Round Trip

Though the standings called them Homestead
this was their real home,
hundreds of miles from the Steel City.

Griffith let them take the field
and fill the stands:
Cool Papa, Buck Leonard,
Josh Gibson.

Griffith wouldn't take them on his team, of course.
Their money was green, though,
and he was happy enough for that.
His own team couldn't fill the stands
and could have used Josh Gibson.

Marian Anderson played the Lincoln Memorial
and not soon enough
Jackie Robinson played Ebbets Field.
Dawn in Brooklyn in the Gray twilight.

They loved Jackie here first.
A nation proudly gave their new team
an Olympic stadium,
named them for the World's Fair.

In 10 years they were ready:
Andre and Gary, Steve and Woodie.
They had a taste of October rains,
but suffered the hangover of a blue Monday.

Another summer found the world was fair
and it did not take much extrapolation
to imagine Moises and Pedro
recovering the grail.
But then came the end of the world.

The poison spread, health failed.
Even trips to try and recover in the tropics
didn't fool anyone.
Moises and Pedro found the grail for others,
as Gary and Tim had before.
Finally the team went south and didn't return.
Youppi wept.

What might Jackie think today
if he had seen Barack throw out
the first pitch of the year?

Perhaps I'm being sentimental
(or cynical?)
to think he would have wondered
why the team decided to take the name
of Griffith's squad
rather than Josh's.

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