“Spring Training” by Maxine Kumin

Alfonso Soriano hits against the Padres in the first inning. Cubs 9, Padres 2, 3/10/13 Cubs at Spring Training in Arizona

Alfonso Soriano hits against the Padres in the first inning. Cubs 9, Padres 2, 3/10/13.  Cubs at Spring Training in Arizona. (Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports, USA TODAY Sports)

for Victor

Some things never change: the velvet flock
of the turf, the baselines smoothed to suede,
the ancient smell of peanuts, the harsh smack
the ball makes burrowing into the catcher’s mitt.

Here in the Grapefruit League’s trellised shade
you catch Pie Traynor’s lofting rightfield foul
all over again. You’re ten in Fenway Park
and wait past suppertime for him to autograph it

then race for home all goosebumps in the dark
to roll the keepsake ball in paraffin,
soften your secondhand glove with neat’s-foot oil
and wrap your Louisville Slugger with friction tape.

The Texas Leaguers, whatever league you’re in
still tantalize, the way they waver and drop.
Carl Hubbell’s magical screwball is still
give or take sixty years unhittable.

Sunset comes late but comes, inexorable.
What lingers is the slender hook of hope.

“Spring Training” by Maxine Kumin, from Connecting the Dots. © Norton, 1996.

This entry was posted in baseball, poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “Spring Training” by Maxine Kumin

  1. Jerome Bloom says:

    WONDERFUL

    A

    DOUBLE HEADER

    TWO

    PASSIONS

    BASEBALL

    POETRY

    IN

    ONE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s