They left us then, in solace and misery,
we in our Converse sneakers at a buck a pair,
we so full of innocence of bright summer days,
to go away from us with our big brothers, left us lonely
and miserable, on corners, in cold fields with the long ball
hitters long gone, the Big Sticks of the neighborhood,
the Big Wood of the Majors, the thunder-stickers
of heaven’s blue, oh, far walls’ dent-painters,
to plod, sail, fly the blue skies of Pacific’s
vigil, become Europe’s vanguard army
and we cried in dark cells of home
for our brothers and bubble gum
heroes, a community of family.

Oh, good pal Eddie’s brother Hank not yet home
from someplace in World War II, Zeke’s brother
who owned the soul of each and every pitcher
he ever caught, a shortstop the Cards owned,
Spillane, I think, his name; in a great silence
out there Billy centerfield left his arm in
Kwajalein debris.

Oh, brotherless we played our game, no deep
outfield, no zing to pitch, no speed, no power, loveless
without a big brother to show our growing,
our own bat speed gone thunderous.

And then, not long after the Braves rode
that mighty crest, our turn came,
and we left our brothers on
corners, in cold fields,
we long ball hitters.