April 1, 2012

Tony Tracy

FROM BOSTON TO WRIGLEY

Purchased on a downtown street since forgotten
(though, as I recall, a mere minute’s walk
from the graves of Adams and Revere),
I clenched my first ball-glove all morning
until I was shown a seat in Fenway. That afternoon,
among the drunken din, its brassy suppleness
snatched a lined foul right out of the air.
Stepping off the L, twenty-some years later,
the old Rawlings mitt is on its last leg—its rich,
oiled tan gone tallow, its tired webbing, slack stitches,
struggle to secure even the weakest of throws.
Scarred past recognition, the palm offers
little evidence of whose signature was
once branded in its fine leather. Though history
recalls the man who sprung from his crouch
behind third, the man, who now legless,
fields games from a booth. What has baseball
brought this lakefront town? Since ’08
the people remind: no titles, no rings.

from Rattle #25, Summer 2006