(Honoring Jim Bouton & Notoriety)

House fire flames consumed
walls, floors and ceilings
brass bedposts remain, patina
enhanced by intense oxidation
yet the hearth-stone bookcase
covered in ashes discolored
by smoke remains resilient
against the blazing onslaught
leather-bound copies of Homer’s Iliad,
Shakespeare’s Complete Works,
Dante’s Inferno, Shelley’s Frankenstein,
Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Brontë’s Jane Eyre
and Cervantes’ Don Quixote stood
proud, upright, defiant in the face of
a blistering conflagration, only charring
the paper jacket on Bouton’s Ball Four….
a natural albeit fitting tribute to a memoir
dedicated to revealing locker room antics
team jealousies, and onetime code of silence.