IN PRAISE AND SYMPATHY *

For my whole life, some 70 years give or take,
the Yankees have been my arch enemy,
the Evil Empire, the destroyer of
my childhood hopes and dreams.
I was a kid in Brooklyn, playing stickball,
living and dying on the fortunes of the Dodgers,
mostly dying, except for the magical series of ’55
when they finally beat their cross-town rivals.
Now, much older, I view the Bombers
through much more sympathetic eyes.
They are a New York team after all,
and in these times, we all need something to root for.
I must admit it was almost heartbreaking to see
them lose a playoff series by the slimmest of margins
in one of the most exciting games I have ever seen,
a game decided by an 8th inning home run,
and a shutout 9th inning of despair.
The Yankees of old will never be near my heart,
but these new Yankees have my praise and sympathy.