Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!

Old Timer's Day

The workers arrived today
bringing tools to change
my home place. My place
one day will no longer be safe.
This is what aging does to
the body, when things fail
and the walls of youth become
Berlin after the cold war.
Old age is coldness, bones
reduced to everything that is
fragile. How we break is how
we suffer, it's how we die,
it's how we dream backwards.

The workers install railings
and handle bars to prevent
my falling as if falling in love
was still possible. I loved the
Yankees when I was young,
when I thought I could be
a pitcher, yes, I wanted my name
to be called on Old-Timer's Day
after all my mistakes and errors.

Call my name God after Jim Coates,
Art Ditmar, Ryne Duren, Whitey
Ford, Don Larsen, Duke Maas, Bobby
Shantz, Ralph Terry, Bob Turley,
Luis Arroyo and tall Steve Hamilton.
Call my name God when I walk
slowly from the dugout to wave
at the crowd, tip my hat and call
it a day.

Written by E. Ethelbert Miller


Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge