THE BOYS OF SUMMER *

I could play baseball
with the neighborhood boys
the lone girl in the afternoon.
In the evening, I’d pedal
my way to Legion Field
to watch those boys
in real uniforms play.

Before bedtime, on AM from distant
KDKA, I’d listen to radio games
and dream of Pirates and Indians.
Buffalo had its Rockpile
with Triple A games,
Niagara Falls and Batavia
even lower leagues,
designations I could identify with.

Grown-up, I embraced our shining
downtown ballpark where
future big leaguers developed
their game and followed
players’ fortunes as they moved up
to play at The Jake and PNC, the parks
in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Years later, COVID finally
brings the big leagues to
Sahlen Field here in our Queen City,
the Blue Jays seeking
to nest away from Canada.
Of course, the gates are shuttered
and the boys of summer will play
without their fans,
especially the girl who slept
with her glove and imagined
crouching in the infield.