Wednesday, April 21, 2010

If any team would be cursed

If any team would be cursed
you might think
this would be the group.
That the unforgivable sin
they committed
would mark them still.

Not trading a star player,
or denying entry to a goat:
those whimsies were
as usual,
post facto ghost stories
told to frighten the kids
in the old style.

This was business unusual.
K become kayfabe.
Old Roman in Greek tragedy,
tightfisted enough to squeeze
the joy from a game
and shameless enough
to say it wasn't so.

Is there room in the Hall of Fame
for Shoeless Joe?
I say perhaps, in his turn.
After all the greats have been enshrined
and the near-greats.
After all the men who could never play
because of the color of their skin.
After all the women who could never play
because they never were given a chance.
After all the honest folk in this country
and in every country
who ever picked up a bat and ball
or watched someone pick up a bat and ball
are honored for their love for the game
there might be room for him left
in the corner of a basement of an annex.

If ever a team was cursed
you'd think it would be them.
But the trophy has returned to the South Side.
Across town
they are still worried about the goat.

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