Once there were three great amusement parks
that twisted, raised, dropped people in dizzying degree.
The Wonder Wheel is a wind-blown spider’s web,
the Parachute Jump, a discarded animal’s skeleton,
and in the shadow of the one remaining coaster,
the landmarked Cyclone, there is a ball park here,
nestled against the ocean, open to Friday night fireworks.
Dreams begin anew each year here in Class A ball,
each player hoping he will make it to the big show.
Little kids line up at the fence, waiting
to get autographs of future major leaguers.
Dreams end here, too, as injuries crop up,
as unwanted as weeds in the outfield grass.
The home team catcher goes 4 for 4 this night,
believing, for the moment, his performance
has earned him a ticket upwards, at least to Double A.
The minor league park shudders at such hubris.
There is a ball park here, you know,
a silent crossing guard, noting
the passage of young men going up and down.
It’s a short, short, season, boys, so swing away.
The gold ring is yours for the taking.