A child’s religion is his baseball team.
At my brother’s challenge I rattled off
the Dodger lineup and the pitching staff;
watched Podres get Howard to ground out
in ’55, then wept my way to Hebrew School
– astonished by my joy – but spilled tears
toward a twisted mouth, betrayed, when Robinson
was traded to the Giants. And after
the last game we played against Durocher’s team
I ran on the field alone – no one else –
and then scooped up a Dixie cup of dirt.
While it was an empty shell, waiting
for the wrecker, I walked around Ebbets Field,
Bedford and Sullivan, McKeever and
Montague, then pried off a chip of blue paint
from the rotunda, and a pinkish piece
of sandstone from the peeling cornerstone.

– from Section V of “Between Two Cities,” composed in Syracuse, New York, January 1967

Posted in: Poems.
Last Modified: April 26, 2016