Friday, April 6, 2012

A fondness for red birds and backflips

I think my love for sports retired
in the eighties, a decade of Americana--
the only time I don't feel completely stupid
using that word. I wonder if all Americans feel patriotic
when daydreaming of youth, and baseball, I dream of
driving South on I-55
windows down through corn fields knee-high
on the fourth of July. Growing up in Illinois, it's natural
to think that we would be Chicago Cubs fans, but
rebellion runs deep in these genes
or maybe we were simply riding the high
of a 1982 World Series Championship.
But I like to think it was the anticipation
of backflips
in the outfield, those snarky red birds
perched on baseball bats,
small plastic hardhats filled with ice cream sundaes,
an old man
wearing the largest pair of glasses I'd ever seen --
his voice still the backdrop to most of my nostalgic
play-by-plays --
and a surprise visit from Mr. T
throwing the first pitch
before leading us in The Wave and a chant of
root, root, root for the CARDnuhhllls,
emphasis perfectly placed to drown the cubbies,
a song that ranks right up there
with The Star-Spangled Banner, when sung
makes my chest swell from a mysterious well
like when I see that bright red logo of the
S - T - L


A poetry prompt from NaPoWriMo


Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee, Vince Coleman... To simply hear these names brings back so many feelings of being a 10-year-old in the 80s!

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