Joseph Soldati
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Selected Poems

Moon on the Wing | Evening | 1947 | Quo Vadis, Debbie?

baseball mitt


1947

Once
boys played baseball
without adults,
even on Saturdays.
Fathers,
thinking more of sons then,
knew one was always out
on a close play,
and did not interfere.
And sometimes,
after supper
in the hot hushed evenings of July
the fathers would come out
like shy children
in their tee-shirts and dress pants,
and they would hit
huge parabolic drives
that cracked through the dry sycamores
many yards away,
and run the short base paths
in their thin dark socks
that would never come clean
for work again,
and pause in their great glee
to breathe hard and light cigarettes.
We relayed those long balls
by brigades
until it was too dark to see;
then we all walked home
under a full moon
nestled in the sky
like a new baseball
in a worn mitt.
_____________

First published in Making My Name (Lewiston, NY: Mellen Poetry Press, 1992), and Line Drives: 100 Contemporary Baseball Poems, Eds. Horvath & Wiles (Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2002).

 
 
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