Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Antoinette Rainone

Dear Joe, Love You More Than Ever, Marilyn

                        for Joseph Dominick Rainone

Lost in a stadium of suits and ties and ol' derby hats
I hear no sounds of chants or cheers,
only Joe's precise, crisp crack of the bat.

Suddenly I'm 27 again, (a less-confused 27),
wearing white and holding three cymbidium orchids,
waiting for him to cross home plate one last time.
When he does, I grab his great calloused hand
and lead him home.

Joe brings me roses twice a week.
I arrange them in a crystal vase, run after five loud children:
"Behave now! Daddy's home!"
and cook sausage and spaghetti, all at the same time.
My apron's spattered and my hair's a mess
and I'm out of breath.

Joe just smiles.
He takes the three older ones outside for a game of catch.
Sinatra sings "Fly Me to the Moon" on the radio as
I peer through eyelet curtains
watching my guys run and laugh on the green grass.

Tears roll down my cheeks, I'm so happy.

©2007 by Antoinette Rainone

Antoinette Rainone dedicates her poem to her father, who taught her about baseball while recuperating from double-amputation surgeries in 1978. Antoinette, a journalist for 23 years, is currently working on a coming-of-age memoir about this trying, yet magical season of '78, when the Yankees came from behind to win the World Series -- and her father taught himself to walk again. Antoinette lives in New Jersey with her husband and their one-year-old son.

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