“Father Time is Coming,” by J. Patrick Lewis

Without a doubt, Satchel Paige was one of those pitchers whose accomplishments will stand the test of time.  He threw just about any pitch you could think of, plus more that you haven’t even imagined.  I like how Lewis captures the spirit of Paige’s style in this piece, originally published in Slant in 1995.


 Out of a windmill windup,
 the whipcord arm grooves a dartball
 on a string past the hopeful, waiting
 at the plate for a miracle.

It might have been the bee ball,
     the looper,
         the drooper,
             the jump ball,
                     the wobbly ball,
         the two-hump blooper,
                 the bat dodger,
                     the famous hesi-
             tation pitch,
     or the radioball ("You hears it,
             but you never sees it").

Joe DiMaggio couldn't hit him.
 And said so.

Babe Ruth never faced him.
 Lucky Bambino.

"I'm Satchel," he said,
 "I do as I do."

One thought on ““Father Time is Coming,” by J. Patrick Lewis

  1. this is fantastic. I’m not much in the know of ordering words in poems, to enhance the effect, but the way he writes “hesitation pitch” on two lines struck me as very intentional and well, out of sight, excellent and all that. Thanks for posting this. I think i’ll jot it down and throw it up against my wall, a scotch tape pitch!

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