My father was not a great ballplayer,
or wage earner, or man,
but, he understood the cadence of his language.
Tired after a day of subways and sales
he read to his children,
all of us lined on the couch
like pigeons on a wire.
Sweating on plastic slipcovers in summer,
we listened to verses of Casey and crowds,
and imagined homeruns lost over horizons
we dared venture to.
My father at eighty-three, cannot recall
what it is he sold, or the route
into the city’s tunnels he traveled,
but the day my young son recites from memory
Casey’s defeat at Mudville,
my father remembers
and feeds his grandson lines:
And now the pitcher holds the ball,
and now he lets it go.
and now the air is shattered
by the force of Casey’s blow.
In the face of loss
thinking his children still young and enchanted,
my father takes a final swing
at this life striking him out.
Laurie Kuntz is an award-winning poet and film producer. She has published two poetry collections and award-winning chapbooks, as well as an ESL reader. Her poetry has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes and one Best of the Net. Visit her at: https://lauriekuntz.myportfolio.com/home