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Saturday, October 01, 2011


by Earl J Wilcox
with apologies to Mr. Eliot

A hot coming we had of it,
Just the best time of the year
For a journey, and such a journey.
The ways were wild and the weather
Hot, the very dead of summer.
And the bullpen wilted, sore-elbows,
    Broken toes,
Getting up and down in the Atlanta
And New York heat.
The summer doldrums, dog days,
Bud Lites beckoning, pizza
Parties till midnight.

Then came Duncan leaving the Cards
Alone, going back home
To nurse his ailing wife, and Maddon and
La Russa pushing and pushing the Rays
And Cards, and the Sox and Braves
So sure with chopping axes and a
Green Monster that had their backs
And the Yanks with all their snide ways.

Then, just then, as sunset fell in
Houston town and the Yanks and Sox
Looked away, the Cards and the Rays rode in,
Their piss ‘n vinegar hotter than all Hades.

All this was just a short time ago,
We remember here in Mudville, and
We know the Cards and Rays would
Do it all over again, so set down this:
We were led all this way
For the national pastime, the national psyche
Our angst satisfied until the playoffs,
The championships, the Series.
When Obama fails and Perry and Romney
And Bachman Tweet to the Almighty, only
We endure, we have no hard and bitter agony,
Our kingdoms secure, though no longer
At ease. There are Cubbies and Red Legs and
Pirates and next year’s Sox, (both Red and White)
And Texans, and Giants---and all our fathers
Yelling, “slide, dammit, slide.”

Earl J. Wilcox writes about aging, baseball, literary icons, politics, and southern culture. His work appears in more than two dozen journals; he is a regular contributor to The New Verse News. More of Earl's poetry appears at his blog, Writing by Earl.