I spent the summer alone
with grandpa’s cigarette glow
and the TV where the White Sox
clawed past the Yankees
for the pennant, where the still life
of baseball exploded into the ballet
of double play, or stealing second.
I remember their names:
Fox, Aparicio, Landis.
Twice we went to Comiskey.
Off at 35th street, grandpa’s arms
around me because it was what
he called a Negro neighborhood.
Then they went west and lost.

It would be decades before
they won again. I ditched work
for the ticker tape parade
where sad Chicago finally
cheered, got drunk.
But a few years later,
I can’t remember their names.
But the green diamonds,
the freezing opening days,
the October disappointments
are always with me,
every season, every year.