Last Game of the Season

by Bob Bradshaw
The Writer's Block
Second Place, August 2019
Judged by Lois P. Jones

Under high clouds we wave our thunder sticks.
I recall biking to this stadium
as a kid, the air stuttering

from baseball cards pinned to my spokes.
When the team won it was like the clouds parting,
an omen of good things to come…

The game is different now.
I will never pitch in the major leagues.
No one scouts the stands

for old southpaw talents,
their hair greying like wild thistles.
I should give up following sports.

Why get excited over what
others do? My neighbor Anna
says distractions at our age, even chasing money,

are like pissing on a house in flames.
I stand up for the seventh inning stretch,
and scan the park

trying to memorize
the players lobbing balls to each other
in the outfield, beneath the bright towers…

another year, this my seventy fifth–
like my youth–a pop fly lost in the lights

Nostalgia comes alive in the air stuttering/from baseball cards pinned to my spokes. This poem scores high for both its internal music and the poet’s ability to condense memory into metaphor that makes a universal leap. Poetry is what we do when our bodies betray us and the dream becomes a pop fly lost in the lights. --Lois P. Jones