Opening_Day_570

Ode To Opening Day

romise smells like peanuts, ice in the urine trough, the citrus of halter tops
and sunburned comrades clenching salted cylindrical meats.
Today, Opening Day: An excuse to take the day off and not flock to pornography.

The beginning of a new business quarter for hobos!
The parking lot vendor affixes his counterfeit caps in single file rows,
the scalper polishes his subdued innuendos in the mirror that magicians his
medicines.

A security guard shaves against the grain, thinking nothing of the inmates who would
charge his field,
and a blimp beautifies itself by fattening.
There are prayers in the locker room today, in the boom-boom room yesterday,

and even if the seagulls interrupt our prayers to congregate and discuss small morsels
on the field,
tomorrow’s prayers can be located in the box scores.
Here’s to the single piece of trash blowing across the diamond, transfixing the park’s
eye like a hornet,

tobacco and manila mangoes tingeing the groundskeepers of all thirty cities.
Here’s to scheduling weddings around bobblehead nights, golden sombreros.
Soon, the Red Line passengers will learn to hate the Red Line post-baseball game

like one is conditioned to hate traffic, tax season, Soviet chessmen.
Tell me: What is the market share for Lemon Chills during the offseason?
The first home run of the year is measured by the silence that precedes it:

The crack of the bat is much louder than the ash trees of the Earth care to remember.
To everyone who has a grandfather without a World Series to shuck their memories
with,
think of each broken bat as a wishbone.

To everyone whose grandfathers have passed on, the videogames of heaven are played
in your eyes: Keep a scorecard for pretty girls,
the eternal battle of Left Field vs. Right Field regarding suckitude.

We will watch, we will adore, we will blaze our children in letters.
We will center our gaze on the high ratio of goatee wearing men, tanned by offices of
the sun.
We hold these truths to be self evident: beer me.

*     *     *     *     *

DAVE LANDSBERGER is ChicagoSide’s resident poet. You can read his first chapbook, “Whoa, Yeah, Baby,” at floatingwolfquarterly.com, and follow him on twitter @davelandsberger.

STORY ART: Main image made in house with piece (baseball dirt and plate) from Pat Belanger/cc.

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