“Twenty-Six Years Now”

Here is a poem, written by an anonymous author, about the great Jackie Robinson.

*

After the war
After white on white on white
After Robinson

Yes,
Twenty-Six
years now
Twenty-Six
Twenty-Six
have come
And
Gone.

And the once empty rosters are no longer
Empty.
as the face of my mother
That day
My father spoke.

I remember the gloom of my fathers words
And what they did to my mother’s face
And what they did to my heart
– Those words my daddy spoke.

Daddy told us about
Josh Gibson
And how he was
Swatting white balls
In black parks
while Ruth and fellows
like Foxx
Were
Making hay.

Daddy told us about
Satch, Ole Satch
Lean and hummin;
Told about
Ole Satch
And how when Satch was
Striking black leather
In places
Like
Chattanooga
And Birmingham
And Pittsburgh
And Bismarck
And Cleveland
And Whichita
And Kansas City
And Havana
Told when
Satch was doing all those things
How
Grove and Dean and Feller
Were
Making Hay.

Yes,
Twenty-six years
since my father’s words
Twenty-six years
since his death

He had a belly laugh
My daddy did
And his laugh
if ever such a sound could reach your ears
Would be filled with the
Loud
and
Quiet joy
That men such as
Mays and Robinson and Aaron
Could have given him.

Not their booming home runs and feats of magic.

Just their faces
Just their faces
Just their faces
now.



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