They Are the Boys of Summer

by Art Gomez

They are the boys of summer promise in spring
A World if they can make it
Beginning their perennial journey
To repeat the bounty of past
Or quest for the yet unfulfilled
Knowing the only known is the unknown

The boys are mixed of hurlers and battery mates
Speed demons and some thunder
Mighty cracks and broken bats catch the eye
Of mentor, coach and locker bums
Of spectators ready for play
In their spring these boys of summer stand out

Their numbers thin as play begins to reject
Only so many chances
To prove they belong and will contribute
To the team that becomes family
To the family of fans who root
And wish to leave day’s worry at the gate

They are the boys of summer into the grind
Day after night in the park
A series of Series upon Series
Sacrifice and personal feats
Bring thrill or grief, sorrow or joy
Streaks and slides and stats will tell the story

The boys write a chapter every summer day
Each pitch, each hit, each error
Recorded forever to be compared
With summer boys who came before
Are here now and those yet to be
Shared history in kind and harsh beauty

Boys of summer simmer heat beat and battle
As Cobb said, “It’s like a war”
With an accounting of those left to die
Stranded on the no-way-back path
Failing teammate summer warriors
Victory is in bringing your boys home

Some boys of summer now reach second season
Leave the fallen in autumn
Top standings will boast and wild cards may toast
Now is the time the true live for
The summer glory is memory
The sweat and toil prelude to the pennant

They are the boys of autumn who were tested
All those days and all those plays
Brought them to the brink of the Promised Land
Time to be better than before
Being good enough to get here
Means nothing as the game begins once more

The culmination of the last two standing
The Series to end it all
The best of the best fight to the last out
Cheers and champagne for the victors
Tears and pain for those so close
Summer boys come home to dream of next year

 

According to family legend, Art Gomez was conceived in a Chicago hotel room when his father had a tryout with the Cubs. A devoted Mariners fan, Art reads his poems in the Seattle area as a member of PoetsWest and Seattle Free Lances. His poems have appeared in Spindrift, Minotaur Press, Poetic Matrix, Seattle Muse, and Poets Against War, and on KSER 90.7 FM (Independent Public Radio).


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