I shout through Kathy’s screen door
“Good news the Sox beat the Cubs”
while she puttszes over fluffy lettuce plants.
She whispers, “Shh, I have Cub fans for neighbors”
I reply, “My dad, brother and I rooted for the Sox.
I grew up in Chicago’s Northwest on Waveland Ave
where out of the park homerun balls land.”
Unescorted white middle class 7th graders
step into the Addison bus,
6 miles 2 blocks east we step out on Clark Street
a Puerto Rican neighborhood in front of Wrigley Field.
A dollar gets us in where NASA conducts experiments
on the 300 fans who absorb lost games
like black holes absorb light.
We whoosh pass Andy Frain Ushers, sit in box seats
away from the columns blocking fairy tale ivy.
A block east, the Red Line El stops for passengers.
Hinges connect the five cars pivoting
metal wheels screech a high pitch on a curvy track
arm-length from apartment windows
submerge into the tunnel at the loop -- climb out after
speed on the Dan Ryan through the Color slums
to Comiskey Park in Bridgeport where Daley lives
with his Irish blue-collar loyalists
like the IRA patrol Armor Square Park
buffering them from the projects on the other side.
The stockyard stench hangs
inside the colossal concrete stadium.
South-siders anticipate the exploding billboard
displays the losing Cubs’ score
cheer like Romans watching gladiators bleed.
Today, June 28 2008 among Quad Cities Cubs’ fans
like at recess in O A Thorp’s playground in 1973
I give the crowd the finger.
©2008 by Salvatore Marici
poems have appeared in Oysters and Chocolate and Zygote
in my Coffee. His work has also appeared in the Out Loud Anthologies of Poetry,
placed in several contests, and is forthcoming in "More Sweet Lemons." He
lives in the Midwest on the edge of urban sprawl with his three cats, Moe,
Curly, and Ruby Tuesday. For more of his work see the
Quint City Poets web site.