IN 1960

In 1960 I tried out in Yankee Stadium.
I carried two new mitts, one for each hand,
And I told those grizzled coaches and scouts
That I was an ambidextrous pitcher.
(I thought I had to have a way to separate myself
From all those others filled with Hope
And visions of a future that I shared.)
And there I stood, winding up, letting loose
Left-handed curves and righty darts.
The air was crisp; the sky was powder blue,
Dotted with cotton clouds, and there I stood
And played a game born of American vision
In the House where played the Babe
And Gerhig and the Clipper and a
Multitude of other stars
One year before the monumental chase
That drew us all to Mantle and to Maris.
I wasn’t good enough but that just didn’t matter;
It was a time for my eternity, to play
In the presence of those Yankee uniforms,
On that blessed ground (the smooth brown dirt,
The verdant grass whose sweet aroma
Made me think of gentle forests,
Even the glistening foul lines and poles).
I looked up at the tiers of stands
And imagined what the roar of love would be like.
That day I did not fail by any means.
I was a winner and the lifetime memory
Of that special day was the bonus I found myself awarded with.
Sometimes money isn’t necessary.