HALL OF FAME TRIP
The judge had Mountain for a middle name:
that I remembered, and a pillar, I was told,
with those cold and righteous eyes, of rectitude
and integrity. There'd be no scandal
on his watch, no black in baseball.
He cleaned the game and made our Sox white again.
"We never made it back for years," dad wept.
You should have seen old shoeless Joe.
"Say it ain't so," they begged of him,
but he had helped fix those games
with Chick and Swede; they brought such shame.
He scrubbed all that and kept us clean for years.
In the year Judge Landis died a negro
in an army bus would not sit back
for being black. I saw them both in the Hall
where the same glint stares toward right
both knowing there would be a fight
'Ere Mr. Rickey got his victory.
He'd had to steal from first with all the blame,
as on the field they'd throw black cats
with cat calls of hate and fear,
'til Pee Wee draped his arm at last
and could come Monty, Satch, and from their past
Buck and Josh in whose hand the ball looks white.
Storied sand and life,
five thousand years by inches,
pressed, uplifted. billionaire,
more lost than saved
in temples sculpted without myth
of vastly vaulted treasure.
Here a mute shard, saga
fallen down the layered eras,
smoothed by this muddy geologist
from a hundred peaks away,
rushing unhurriedly to draft new tales
of ancient marine.
Still warm from but one sun,
I behold with infant eyes,
now drawn the walled aisle,
past half of earth, in slice of stars,
some this night shining
before a canyon day.
A grain of time and space,
here to see and guess,
not only thinking
but to think of thinking
on all that seems beyond
awed reverence and thanksgiving.