by Cary Donham
21 home runs, almost a phenom,
now 0-34, staring down a demon
looking up at the Mendoza line.
Was it the maple bat shattered by Castillo
that impaled him leading off third base
that erased his confidence and put him below
The mythical Mendoza line, .200 or .215,
usually reserved for good-field no-hit shortstops,
but for a young slugger, obscene.
The fast ball’s now an aspirin, the slider disappears,
the pitchers’ location always perfect, what happened to the cheers
and to the confidence that made him dangerous just a year ago?
Where did it go?
So back to Des Moines, is that spark gone for good?
looking up at the Mendoza line, as high as Everest,
still remembering that piece of wood
sticking from his chest.
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