My good friend Ryan Mayers sent me a scorecard that I kept when he, Donnie Sabs and I took in a Cubs game a couple of seasons ago. My scorecards are usually a mess, and this was no different – a mix of hieroglyphs, scribbles and meaningless notes that only I could understand. Reading one from two-years ago was a particularly entertaining exercise, and it gave life to the following poem.
The psychic in the bleachers calls a leadoff homerun
because of the wind and the hitter’s hot streak.
She twinkles her nose like a cartoon witch
and spooks her friends. In the second, a man
with a red foam finger misses the mustard on his chin.
Clouds look like dolphins in the third. A kid points this out
to his father walking back from the john. In the fourth,
fans wave the runner home on a two-out hit.
He’s out by a foot. It’s our fault when the manager gets tossed.
A foul pop in the fifth becomes a struggle for turf.
Flying popcorn. An elbow to the eye. In the sixth,
we anticipate the ritual of the mound trot,
the pitching change. When last call
and the seventh-inning stretch collide, my friend recalls
what Ken Burns said – that Jesus died in the on deck circle.
The sun ducks away long enough in the eighth to lose ourselves
in the slow loft of the wrong team’s deep fly. That’s when
dolphin clouds turn into whales, the sky opens with a quick
sad rain. The last rally fades in the ninth.
The ladies one row ahead cheer for their boys
like Little League moms. All claps and first names.