A star is born at last night’s game,
his debut appearance, a batter no one knows
comes to the plate, eighth inning,
team in a slouch, trailing Texas by two,
blasts a pitch into the stands, a man on second,
two-run homer, ties the game.

Who is this guy? we ask in unison,
everyone huddled as if around a fire
in front of the big screen, fans from the cradle,
my sons and I for sure, my husband
more the newcomer, part of what he signed up for
when he married me.

All because of dad, his family of brothers,
diehards, each year they planned a four-day road trip
to watch their team while their wives, my mother
and aunts boiled eggs, baked beans, and pies
for their journey, drove miles to purchase
ten pound bags of peanuts still in the shells.

For years the brothers followed games
as best they could amid radio static.
Hark, dad’d say, subjecting us to the same.
Once cable came along they viewed their team
on television, then firsthand, those trips to Beantown,
but never witnessed a World Series pennant,
not like the rest of us, the curse broken
in our lifetime two times over, now thrice.

Upon my last visit this September, there
draped over dad’s gravestone like a flag,
a lone Red Sox shoelace, left in reverence
by his youngest grandson.