The Bases Always Loaded

The Bases Always Loaded

At Fenway that salt fogged summer
The small boy watches the pitcher poised
to throw
[stopaction]
the ball always in midair, no one ever scoring
the Redsox way behind as usual, the same derisive
tune, organistic–
when suddenly a huge insect appears glued
to the backstop, huge beyond belief–spinning:
But it is only the small boy’s schoolmarm
knitting up time again, her sow’s lips pursed
for punishment, for his cutting up:
“’tis tiresome, child, ’tis tiresome”
The boy (bored) overindulges in hotdogs and barfs
them up under the arches along the Charles,
river of discontent
[start action  slow motion]
the long summer gone at last, older now
in the back seat of the Chevy with running boards
his hat blows away on Storrow Drive–
[world serious]
No more spitballs.  No more teacher’s dirty looks.
Hardball now and Pirates. No longer in the minors.
Gone to his majority.     Bases loaded up.
[fast forward]
Long since a man, he remains a fan for life
and he hears the deep diapason of his hips
sprocket wrenched by time and he can only see
his toes when he has his trousers rolled.
[playback]
Fenway again.                       Same old spiders.

-T.C.Buell

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