M. P. Aleman
Speaking of Baseball: For David Ishii
Neither of us had played the game professionally,
but our love for it was one, so we stood in his bookstore
surrounded by his trade and spoke about baseball,
finding the game more important now that we've grown older.
The shop was warm, softly lighted, the feeling one of kinship,
like two men who'd once played in the same infield,
or ex-battery mates meeting after a long interval.
Outdoors it was raining,
as it does so easily in Seattle in the spring,
raining gently and steadily, but not enough to call a game.
So we stood together, two men,
who while not aged, were certainly aging,
and spoke of what had become of the game;
then content with the moment, we went our separate ways,
knowing that in the next week, opening day would finally arrive.
To Parker at Short
Missing a two-hop grounder
with a sister watching from a green park bench
can wrench tears from the stoutest of hearts.
You knew she was there, your sister,
older and more lovely than angels,
and even though you'd fielded countless two-hoppers,
you flinched, and a baseball being what it is,
it inched out of your glove unsympathetically.
What could you do but sigh
and pull your cap down tightly over your eyes.
I have often wished for a cap like yours,
black with an orange C,
when erring in some other field of endeavor
at which another angel cheered me on.
It is not, sadly, the last error you will make,
and in the future you will often be hatless.
©2008 by M. P. Aleman
M. P. Aleman was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago in a Mexican-American family.
His highlight baseball moment was shaking hands with Hall of Fame inductee, Rogers Hornsby,
at a baseball banquet, where Aleman received the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
He taught English to high school students for thirty years, and spent four years at Whitworth
College in Spokane, Washington as Associate Professor of Education. Now retired,
he spends his days writing, reading, running, and gardening.