TRADING PLACES *

Oh, the life of a baseball card
to be summarily flipped and traded
on the sidewalks of Brooklyn.
I remember the high drama
of cards won and lost when I was kid,
when afternoons turned bright or dark
depending on whether my card
was closest to the wall, the action
as mercurial as stocks rising and falling.
How do real ballplayers similarly adjust
to the possibility of a sudden trade,
a sudden change of fortunes?
Do they count their blessings
if traded to a better team?
Do they cry over their misfortune
if dealt to a cellar-dweller?
I wonder if baseball players
are as fragile as my old collection of
bubble-gum cards wrapped in rubber bands
as they get tossed into the trade winds of life.