Tag: memories


The Jockey by Elise Hempel

9
September

American Life in Poetry: Column 598
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

elisehempel
I’d guess that many of us like old toys. As a boy I had a wind-up tin submarine that dove and surfaced, and a few years ago I saw one just like it in the window of an antique store, making me, of course, an antique. Here’s a poem by Elise Hempel of Illinois, from Able Muse: A Review of Poetry, Prose & Art. Her newest book, Second Rain, will be out in the spring of 2016, from Able Muse Press.

The Jockey

Atop his exhausted buggy with its
rusted wheels and now-stuck key,
one boot missing, a faded jersey,
the bill of his cap cracked off, he sits

behind a nicked brown horse that once
flicked its tail, clattered around
planked floor or rug when the buggy was wound
after school by children who’ve since

fallen behind him, white-haired or gone,
as he still waves the flopping spring
of his crop, still stares through dimming
goggles, gathering gray ribbons

of dust in his silent, frozen race
down an ever-unfurling track,
hunched to win, leaving far back
all claps and laughter, his once-smooth face

scarred and pitted, just the white
fleck of a smile now, more a sneer,
his empty fists on the reins of air
still holding tight.

Comment » | Life, Other Poets

Micropoetry – Alone on the Porch

18
November

porchsunset

sitting
alone on the porch,
the sun burning a hole
in the horizon,
a breeze, gentle,
ever so slight,
caresses my face and,
closing my eyes,
becomes
your breath

4 comments » | By the Poetic Fool, Life, Micropoetry, Romance

Childhood Daze – Photograph and Poem by Rick Stephen

16
September

ChildhoodDaze_web

Comment » | By the Poetic Fool, Life, Nature

Found Memories by Rick Stephen

13
November

Found Memoriesbaseballglove1

In the back of the closet
of my old room
in my parent’s house
I found my old baseball mitt
in a box, creased and torn
barely held together
by yellowed packing tape
and full of things
Mom hadn’t the heart
to toss out
once I’d left home for good

Thank goodness
for it was, to me,
a box of memories
and at the bottom
under various and sundry toys,
photos and memorabilia
there it was, pressed flat
save the well-worn ball
cradled in its webbing
I picked it up slowly
like it deserved reverence

I looked it over, turning it in my hand
looking at the leather stitching,
the marks and mars of heavy use
my name, faded,
barely visible on the wrist strap
I slid my hand inside
tighter today than it was then
I fanned my fingers opening the glove
revealing the ball, more brown than white,
scuffed and scraped,
frayed red stitches running ’round it

I flipped the ball into the air
and was rewarded
with the pleasing sound
of ball striking glove
instinctively
I buried my face in the cowhide
and the familiar smell
of leather and oil,
sweat, red dirt and grass
triggered strong memories
of a young boy

A young boy
simultaneously excited,
anxious and afraid
fidgeting, out in right field
praying the ball not come to him
but hoping that it would, waiting
for his chance to shine
and looking into the stands
for his Dad,
always there,
always cheering him on

Dad gave me this glove
it was old, used
money was tight around our house
but I didn’t mind, I understood
even at that tender age
Mom calling me for dinner
snapped me from the past
I had to pry the child’s glove
from the hand of a man
and pulling hard on the wrist strap
underneath, I saw what I’d not seen before

A name, not mine
“Billy” scrawled there, Dad’s name
mixed feelings flooded me
and I thought, why?
Why would he not tell me
this had been his glove?
Was he ashamed
he couldn’t afford a new one?
How did he not know this glove,
his glove, would be worth more to me
than all the gloves in the world?

10 comments » | By the Poetic Fool, Life

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