Ode to an Oriole’s Lament

Copyright by Mike Nortrup

.
I journeyed out to Camden Yards
To watch the Birds prevail,
Hoping against fervent hope
I would not see them fail

Even though so many times
The O’s would break my heart,
Getting hopes up for awhile
And then they’d fall apart.

Our starter lasted till the fourth
But rarely found the plate,
And when he got one in the zone
It came in flat or straight.

Predictably they crushed the ball.
Jones bid three shots adieu.
Markakis watched one sail untouched
Into Boog’s Barbecue.

But no way did they toss the towel–
They clawed and made it back.
That sent their grey-clad visitors
Into panic attack.

Then Huff got nailed at second base.
Oh, tell me why he tried!
And Mora rounded third too far.
He stumbled and got fried.

Those forays cost the Birds two runs,
And when those plays were done,
I sat there mired in prescient rage,
Just knew they’d lose by one.

Then for awhile they pulled ahead
And had advantage late.
Their faithful went delirious.
It seemed they’d changed their fate

And then the bullpen came to save
With warm-up pitches thrown,
But all who sat there now lament
Because the lead was blown.

But hey! The Birds weren’t through quite yet.
The ninth was still to play.
They still had one more chance to show
They would not go away.

They got ’em loaded with none out–
It wouldn’t have taken much–
But then three guys each went to bat
And faded in the clutch.

I rode on the Hunt Valley train
And pondered why I came.
I cursed the naive childlike zeal
That brought me to that game.

And then I swore that this was it.
That game had been my last!
Of course I’d said that many times,
In decades now long past.

But later on, it came to me:
The Orioles are my curse.
Hooked on my beloved Birds,
For better or for worse.

Published 8/25/09


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