Radio Silence (Windsor, Ontario: Black Moss Press, 1992): 17-18.
1 You can believe anything you want 3 he chose to believe in grass -- the green sea 4 that washes over time when a pop fly hangs 5 like a lover's promise in an arc through centre; 6 the continent of pain when inches give way 7 to miles on the tip of a glove; the reach 9 the cool green smell of life itself 10 smiling up at the innings of August heat, 11 and the green that shone beneath the lights 12 like a sea of emeralds awash in voices. 13 Eight seasons he learned faith is fortune; 14 balls never bounced the same way twice; 15 that even when you are under the ball 16 the wind can shift and change a game; 17 that all you tell others is less than you know; 18 that winning the Series is better than sex 19 though winning the Series will get you sex; 20 in playing the game you are playing yourself; 21 that baseball is poetry without the poet; 22 that the heart and the body can be at odds; 23 that fortune falters when faith is shaken. 24 And you can believe anything you want -- 25 your youth, your swing, speed, arms, knees, 26 and then like a lover who suddenly leaves 27 that season when you swing and miss, 28 swing again and whiff again, error in the ninth 29 on a pop fly, slip on a misplayed catch 30 and watch from the bench as age prevails. 32 "for a more even game" the owners said -- 33 but the death of grass was the death of belief: 34 "You believe what you want but never this," 35 he said in farewell, his eyes rained out. 36 He sat, one night, in a ballplayer's haunt 37 drinking slow beers and smoking fast drags; 38 a game was on the tube; a rookie, a fly ball, 39 an error scored; the game never gets better 40 and it never gets worse; the faces change, 41 parks are revamped, and always there high 42 in the stands the father, the son, the dream. 43 The lights are down now as he stands 44 at the plate, his face to deep centre 45 and the stars high above him like signals 46 called from eternity, There are no certainties 47 in this game -- only believers who swing 48 at something hurled split-fingered out of forever, 49 and sunlight on grass as green as last year. Notes 8] "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, / Or what's a heaven for?" (Robert Browning, "Andrea del Sarto," lines 97-98). Back to Line 31] artificial grass (AstroTurf) appeared first at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, in 1966. Back to Line
Copyright (c) Bruce Meyer. Printed by permission of the author. Any other use, including reproduction for any purposes, educational or otherwise, will require explicit written permission from the poet.