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
yet rapt, as I get
drunk & near-sighted in the sun.