“To Believe,” by Marna Owen

This piece, published by Spitball Magazine in 2013, was written by a Tigers fan living in California.  I think it’s safe to say that every baseball fan has the experience outlined in this poem at some point or other.

*

It’s all I can do
To pay attention and drive
While the last half of the 9th is played out
The last battle of the regular season
It’s now or never
A baseball cliche, but who cares?
It is now or never

I listen to games from spring to autumn
Grab the morning paper
Read, critique, coach aloud to no one and anyone
I count the games, study the box scores
When the magic number is 1
I believe in magic

Until the third out.
It happens in the parking lot.

Bludgeoned
I leave my car and wander down the street
Buy some bread I do not want
Stare mindlessly at a purse in a shop window.

Then I see the clerk in the wine store, his head in his hands,
Eyes covered, and I know, I know despair.
I back up, go inside.
He has the game on,
The final season wrap-up among all the bottles of wine.

He lifts his head, looks at me
“Let me know if I can help you,” he says dejectedly.
“Thanks,” I say, and pretend to shop. Just to keep company.

We both know there is nothing to be done.



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