“The Miners, the Minors, Carbondale, Illinois,” by Edie Meade

This piece by Edie Meade was published in Skyway Journal in April 2021. The author describes attending a game featuring the Southern Illinois Miners while playing with the homophonic natures of ‘Miner’ and ‘minor’.

I don’t attend minor league or independent league ballgames nearly as much as I should, and pieces like this remind me that I really ought to change that.


I come from a no-team town to see the Miners play,

fall down drunk in the stands with you, obnoxious

off the train from Chicago

in your Pittsburgh stovepipe,

Expos jersey, beard shaved to handlebars

for a bygone day in downstate minors country.

Spilling, lisping, rubbing up

against you, admiring

sinew-ripping throws, welp, he’s going nowhere

fast like that. I lament

poor Miners, poor minors, poor Carbondale

a literal coal field, spent.

Confessions & taunts & kisses & curses, wise cracks

of bats & beer cans, getting backward looks –

he’s probably that player’s grandpa, poor grandpas, you know

I don’t like baseball

fans, but I’m a fan of baseball

men. You get a piece

of the action when a foul ball pops

me, inattentive

yet rapt, as I get

drunk & near-sighted in the sun.

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