My friend Sam lost his father
when he was only nine.
He cherished the memories
of watching ball games with
his father while they sat together
on the couch in front of the Zenith TV,
the seven-year-old’s head resting
on his father’s lap.
Strange for Brooklyn,
his father was a New York Giants fan,
so naturally Sam inherited the team, too.
He and his father thought
Willie Mays was the best ballplayer ever,
and when Willie died this week,
Sam took out his old San Francisco hat,
and wore it proudly for days,
the tribute as much for his father
as it was for Willie,
the memories of sitting
together on the couch
fixed in his mind forever,
held as tightly as Willie catching
a long fly ball to center field.