Sports Poetry posted October 16, 2015

This work has reached the exceptional level
Very loosely patterned after Annabel Lee.

Redemption is at Hand

by Mark Valentine

It was many and many a year ago, that kingdom of our youth.
The skies were blue, and the world we knew was steeped in light and truth.
The grass was green, and the air was clean, and the sun would always shine.
Our hearts were light, and the world was right back in '69.
We filled each day with joyful play, and the wind never blew cold.
And we loved with a love that was greater than love, when we were ten years old.
Now the love a boy spends, save for family and friends, is mostly spent on baseball clubs.
In my case that meant that my love was well spent on my boyhood heroes – the Cubs.
I was a child, and I loved as a child – with a steadfast, unwavering love,
And each night I would dream of my favorite team as I lay next to my baseball glove.
Oh, how well they did play throughout April and May as they zoomed to the head of the pack!
Throughout June and July, with each day that went by, the lead grew and they never looked back.
In August that year, skies stayed peaceful and clear, the weather still comfortably warm.
It was life without care, and I floated on air, unaware of the gathering storm.
And then came September –I’ll always remember – the month that my innocence died.
So sure we would win, till the storm clouds rolled in, and sucked all the life from inside.
It came out of the east, bore the mark of the Beast - had a darkness one never forgets.
Sent by the devil, unholy and evil - it went by the name of the Mets.
The storm took its toll as it battered my soul, and shattered my young sense of wonder.
My life tempest-tossed, as the Cubs finally lost, tearing my childhood asunder.
For forty-six years in this vale of tears (of which I am sadly a tenant),
I’ve awaited the day when the Cubs and Mets play, with the winner securing the pennant.
Well the games start tomorrow, when the Cubs take my sorrow and hopefully turn it to joy,
And this middle-aged man will become once again, a jubilant 10 year-old boy!


Poem of the Month contest entry


The picture is from a game against the Mets at Shea Stadium in late 1969, when a black cat came onto the field and circled Ron Santo. Another chapter in the curse of the Cubs.
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