BASEBALL FEVER Back

Baseball fever felled this fearful girl
Like a bean ball….
When at the age of eleven
The storied sport
Demanded her surrender
As swiftly as a Bob Friend fast ball
And she succumbed
To a called third strike

As Bill Mazeroski slapped
His series-winning round-tripper
Over the ivy-covered left field wall
To conquer the mighty Yankees
That Forbes Field afternoon in 1960
The gawky girl’s unlikely lust emerged
For a game she would never play
But which would always woo her

Young right fielder Roberto Clemente
His compassion later luring him to an early grave
Sustained her with his skill on the field
Through her dismal adolescent days
Number twenty-one and the rest of the team
Became her imaginary playmates
She worshiped at their altar
Trading the prom to see the Pirates play

After she moved near their home turf
The Phillies and Vet Stadium beckoned her
Sweet summer nights found her
In the stands catching a glimpse
Of soon-to-be-great Curt Schilling
Now she watches on the small screen
An expat “Phils’ phan” returned to Pirates terrain
Just waiting for spring training to strike again