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This exhibition season shows the Cubs
At 10 and 12. Their starting pitching flares
Some promise, and despite some fumbles, flubs,
And outright flops, we’ve seen some diving snares,

Wall-denting doubles, lasered homers, blasts
And winning bloops and gorks and grand salamis.
We’ve won our share, might not tail off to last.
We’ll battle Frisco, Philly, and Miami.

Say “I’m a Cub fan,” and you’ll hear a sigh
From years of bobbled grounders, bases-loaded flails,
Collapses into weeping legend—why
Should “Cubbies” mean the team that always fails?

I love the game, regardless, root and roar
And rail, gulp stats, chat trade, note injuries
And rookies, weigh the meaning of a score.
I need to breathe, eat, drink, sleep—and play. Yes,

I need play. Scorn a baseball game because
It doesn’t stop a war, fund symphonies
Or galleries, revoke some unjust laws,
Or simply bores you? Of course, feel as you please.

I’m glad for civic unity a team
Inspires, fresh hope each spring, lead-saving leap
And catch, great skill and courage, leisure time
Ignoring deadlines and the growing heap

Of task on office desk. I’m glad for play;
I’ll fire rubber ball against brick wall
And dream I’ve nailed a runner at home plate.
I’m happy—not quite entering The Hall

But gliding weekend hours back to joy.
The Cubs might finish fourth or fifth, begin
Rebuilding yet again. I still rejoice
In skill and strategy. And—this year they might win!
Posted 04/03/16
from Cathedral and Highrise (Rose Alley Press, 2015)
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