Today's poem is by Paul Pines

        —for Chris R. & Ken B

God sometimes speaks to me with the voice of Carl Furillo
or through the memory of a moment when Pewee Reese
draped his arm around Jackie Robinson and the catcalls
from the stands ceased ...

I still grieve for Ebbers Field its emerald grass and white bases
a diamond in the sun fans in sticky undershirts in windows
on fire escapes the apartment roof beyond center field
boys waiting in the street for a home run ball to descend
on them like a dove through which they will be forever beatified

and curse Walter O'Malley for taking it all away what any business man
would've done Duke Snyder will never again emerge from
Becker's deli with a bottle of Cel-Ray and hot pastrami on club
Hodges from Ebinger's Bakery his arms full of pastries
no more self-addressed stamped post cards to C~mpenella or Cox
come back to me transformed by a signature or my first realized
glimpse of the sacred staring back in the eyes of Don Newcomb

my initiation into the profound indifference of unforgivable loss
Jackie's shoulders sloping at the end recalling his lost prophet
Branch Ricky baptizing him with cigar smoke in the inner sanctum
of his office more unforgivable the white wrecking ball
painted with seams dropping suddenly like a sinker thrown
by Johnny Padres even Furillo turned away unable to bear it

and I cried when they went to LA these Boys of Summer
taking my boyhood with them glue that held Brooklyn together
before everyone moved to Long Island and the world
between Coney Island and the two bridges broke along fault lines

                                        Ocean Parkway
                                        Fulton Street
                                        Flatbush Avenue

and sometimes god speaks to me in flickering waves of light
sub-atomic particles forming as I walk alone on the tread-mill
or pull into my driveway fifty years later in upstate Glens Falls
rest my head on the steering wheel an old man watching
from the stands through the eyes of a young one the players
and field dissolving in unbounded whiteness an empty page

Copyright © 2015 Paul Pines All rights reserved
from Message From The Memoirist
Dos Madres Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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