Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

John Stanton

On the Death of Seamus Heaney

My grandfather listened
on a loading dock transistor
the cadence of the innings
an American song
to his immigrant ears,
while the trucks
came and went.

My father saw
Ted Williams
back from Pacific hell,
swinging two bats
in the on-deck circle
like the definition
of America. He
let me sit among the men
while they drank short glasses
of salted beer.

And you Seamus,
quietly watching me
from a back booth
in a joint called Sports
as I tried on their moments
like hand-me-down jackets,
shouldered their coffins
and, finally, yours,
as the Sox played
a night game in Detroit
and outside August
gave way
to fall.

Fat Summer

Slanted daylight
Saving sun
Baptizing dirty windows.
A guy drinking a can of beer
Next to a charcoal perfumed
Grill, dreaming
Dreams of meat on hot coals,
While a gang of kids, uncontrollable
As weeds, plays nearby.

Hardware store
Sprinklers turning
Wet soil and blacktop
Into odiferous summer.
The ancient radio rhythms
Of the Sox
At Cleveland on a Tuesday
Through the passing window
Of a random Ford.

Fats Waller
Used to cry out
On sweaty Kansas City nights,
When his fingers ran
Just this side of control,
And the riot of notes
Wiped away memories of bad love
And angry women,
Somebody shoot me
While I'm happy.

©2015 by John Stanton

John Stanton is a documentary filmmaker and poet. In the past he has been a newspaper reporter, bartender, carpenter, and house painter. Twenty-five years ago he married an island woman and still lives with her on Nantucket.

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