by Ember Nickel
Raise up a roof, the finest of its day.
“No longer,” boast, “shall rain or snow deter
Our baseball games; we’ll always get to play.
Whatever the weather, we won’t defer.”
Raise up your eyebrows and mutter along.
“This thing’s ugly.” “This is a piece of junk.”
“Who built this mess, and where did they go wrong?”
“Did anybody realize that it stunk?”
Raise up your voices, fill the roof with sound.
Don’t worry if, when on the road, they lose.
They’ll come back home and then they’ll come around.
We have home-field advantage, what good news!
Raise up the flags, the pennants proudly won.
No matter if one season we’re the worst.
We’ll rally back, we’ll never say we’re done
Till we raise the second flag, again first.
Raise up a generation till they love
The game, but subtly imply they should hate
The field they see. Whisper “blue sky above
Is what you want–this all is second-rate.”
Raise your shoulders if they ever ask why.
Shrug, write it off, until they do not know
What’s wrong with what they have. “Who needs the sky?”
You’ll hear them wonder. “We can’t see it. So?”
Raise up the record: “Cool things at one site.”
World Series! Super Bowl! The Final Four!
The All-Star game! Oops–college game tonight.
Finish the baseball later. Out the door.
Raise new foundations to the north and west
As triumphant years give way to malaise.
“No, no!” claim. “This new field will be the best!”
Hyping it up with such premature praise.
Then suddenly your suspicions are raised.
They can’t come back. Not this late. Not this far
Down in the standings. But the fans who praised
The team all along still believe. They are
Standing and yelling, raising themselves out
From their seats. And now the team too will rise.
The final weeks are what it’s all about,
The final push until you reach the prize.
Raise up your hopes. Lose game one-sixty-three.
But keep the hopes high. You’ll get them next year,
Rallying back at the last. Can it be?
Most of our hopes already beyond here
We win nevertheless, for we still care.
You thought you’d given up–this was your proof.
You’re not jaded. You’ll cheer when the field’s there.
That’s all you need to know. Raze now the roof.
For more of Ember’s marvelous writing, check out her blog, Lipogram! Scorecard!
Published in Ballparks, Fans, Lyric, Minnesota Twins, The Game Itself | Link to this poem | No Comments