Final At Bat
The poignancy of this appointment
overwhelms, years spent
waiting, dreaming, hoping,
and finally the big call comes.
I'm on next plane north,
wondering what my number will be.
But reality is never quite
that sort of stale movie cliché.
That scenario is mere convenience
built to fit creaky plot's convention.
Here that call never arrives
and I board the old school bus
to next rickety stadium date.
Here we veterans of the circuit
joke about times we used to
entertain such hifalutin notions,
when talent and potential swindled
us into believing a kid's fantasies
of major league scouts peppering
sparsely populated stands,
excited about the promise
of a cup of coffee in the bigs.
That was one old bamboozle now.
Every year the pains last longer,
the swing slows just enough
to make each miss look worse.
There's no one up there
calling my name, and my parents
want me to consider coaching
some local middle schoolers.
Soon enough giving up
might mean giving out,
collapsing in some dusty
batter's box in some
here in Mexico, not exactly
the glorious final season tour,
the standing O of youthful dreams.
There'll be no crowds cheering
when I swing hard at
some hot Dominican's best fastball,
tipping my cap to the
thousands that never were,
in some other universe
they might be out there