I am currently the East Region VP of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (wfop.org). I'm in love with another V-V contributor the fantastic Sylvia Cavanaugh. My chapbook, Who Are We Then? was published by Partisan Press. You can find examples of my other work on Your Daily Poem and on Little Eagle's RE/Verse.
Beyond my grandparents’ house
past the garage and the milk house
the open space surrounded by the granary, the tool shed,
the chicken coop, and the barn was our ball field
until we outgrew it.
The barn’s big bay doors were closed on Sundays
its tin roof reflecting early afternoon sunlight.
In our big-league dreams the roof was the upper deck
at Detroit’s Briggs Stadium.
There’d be six to eight boys in front of the barn
depending on the Sunday.
The boys, eight to eleven years old,
were either siblings or cousins.
Men were at the dining table playing euchre.
Women, in the kitchen cooking chickens
that had pecked their last meal right here
on Saturday morning, gleaning grain flung
from the hollow of our grandmother’s gathered apron.
Girls were in the front playing croquet, while I
bounced a ball in my left hand and my cousin Joe waited
practice swinging a bat a bit too big for him.
My brother and a few cousins were scattered behind me
gloves at the ready as I let one fly.
Joe connected ash to horsehide, solid.
The ball soared as we all turned.
Would it be the first “home run”, clearing the barn roof,
a feat that eluded us the entire previous summer?
The ball landed with a bang about three inches short
of the barn’s peak, surely disrupting my grandfather’s
concentration at the card table.
My cousin Rich gauged the ball’s descent
and positioned himself. The ball rolled off the roof
and dropped into his glove,
a long, loud out, as they say,
but this would definitely be a hitter’s summer.
The next season our Uncle Jim gave up
an acre of tillable land and laid out a diamond
for us to dream on.
August 23, 2015, Ending in a Subjunctive Mood
It is the top of the 16th inning
and it has been the top of the 16th inning since June 7th
well, technically, since June 8th at 1:11 AM when
the game was suspended because of a curfew rule.
This was/is an inter-league match-up
between the Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The teams are not scheduled to meet again this season
unless the outcome of this game
could affect participation in the playoffs.
Until then it is in suspension.
Technically, the game continues.
They are still playing, but there is no activity
much like some other parts of a baseball game.
The Tigers and Dodgers have been in suspension
for two and a half months now, and if both teams
fall out of contention, the game will never be completed.
It will be as if it had never happened.
Verlander might not have struck out eleven in eight innings.
Puig might not have been safe at home
(or was he out?) in the seventh
and Cabrera might not have hit that home run
in the ninth inning that tied the game
even though we all might have seen it
leave the ballpark.
©2016 Ed Werstein
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell him or her. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is the beginning of community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -FF