Resolutely drunk, playing at candour
above the green and maroon circus
maximus of Imperial America,
sit runaways, derelicts and a few straight As
made good on their promise,
a kernel of which cannot be mocked.
. (I do not wish to mock promise tonight)
With hats on hearts for the anthem,
all the old-time foods are here:
Mustard, sauerkraut and onions
lined up for the bratwurst.
Crackerjacks, popcorn, Mint, That’s It!
They eat and compete to name all the retired numbers,
keep watch for Willie Mays on his stationary bike
in Willie Mays’ box next door,
then trade memories of freezing Candlestick
. in July and wind and snow.
The visitors hit and scored their runs
the organist broke into a Bach partita
the box next door held Dodgers fans
McCovey Cove turned greener
five screens, inside and out
kept them abreast of all the action.
With the home team behind
in the sixth the derelicts and runaways, well, they left.
. In the ninth the brawl broke out.
Imagine it from the owners’ perspective,
Rembrandts and Picassos jumping off the wall
going at it with water pistols full of paint thinner.
. Don’t forget the winner.
Lucas Smith is a PhD candidate at the National Centre for Australian Studies. His writing has appeared in Australian Poetry Journal, The Lifted Brow, Australian Book Review, Cordite, Gargouille, Santa Clara Review and several others.