Posted in Truth

Struck Out

She was from Chicago
spoke with the broad vowels of the Midwest
perhaps as balance to diminutive physique
the voice was large, and travelled ahead.
All her life had spent by The Great Lakes
Michigan, by spirit, and birth – home was Saginaw.
I could never hear the song America
without her and a Greyhound bus coming to mind.

She worked in the Windy City for a large bank
brash I suppose but,
with all the confidence was sadness.
She had been a gymnast, talented
going nowhere but up – the very top maybe.

One day a shutter click of inattention
a shattered pelvis
and severe internal injuries,
her days on the high beam over. Forever.
Showing off she said, one eye watching people,
watching her.
A heavy blow
but it wasn’t all bad
back to school and qualifications in law and finance.
Things were good now, gymnastics gone
but she had become a baseball fan – diehard.

When she made it clear
she and I would not be playing any games
I told her
I couldn’t expect a home run, every time I came to bat.
“That’s right,” she drawled
“and sometimes
“you’re not even on the team.”



Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.