Song of the month – First Souvenir

I stretched til I
had reached as high
as I could lift my glove
in center field

but I’m only
five foot ten
I’ve never been
a man above
most others
still

to find that ball
and haul it back
the gravel from
the warning track
still spraying

I felt as tall
as aerosol
adrift aloft
absorbing
radiation

the only thing as loud
as that euphoric crowd
was the silence
in my head

the aches and pains
from all the games
that came before
the catch
had promptly fled

back in real time
where things matter
ground rushed up
which bones
it shattered
I forget

immersion in
the present tense
cured pain
no medication
ever did

they’re still trying
to attach
a patch of muscle
to the bone
looking
to make contact
trying to get
everybody home

when Roberto E
Clemente Walker
counted from
thirteen to twenty one

was it just his way
of saying
that he knew
his days
were numbered
and not long

like buccaneers
from years before
his story ended
in a watery grave
his mission wasn’t
piracy
just tried to see
how many lives
he’d save

they’re still trying
to attach
another chapter
to the book
honoring the names
of those who move
beyond the game
for their best work

so it’s root
root root
for the home team
if they don’t win
then it’s a shame
even batters with
the best eye
end the inning
on a pop fly
and even Cecil Cooper
ain’t in
The Cooperstown
Hall of Fame

without some punctuation
we write sentences
that just run on and on
from broken
A ball buses
to stranded men
at second
tying run

beneath the foul
pole in right
the night’s become
to some here
quite surreal
a spark flew
off the comet
junior caught it
first souvenir

All music and lyrics by Jeff Stehr