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"Hanging Loose"

Robert Hershon: Pick of the Week [ed. Terence Winch]

Bob Hershon  b











I did the Saturday puzzle on Sunday and

the Sunday puzzle on Saturday and I

watched a thousand hours of cops and robbers

when my friend assigned me the task of writing

a baseball poem, since right now there is no

baseball except in memory so I thought of

the Miracle Mets and then the Boys of Summer

but they both seemed frayed from overuse and I

began to think of the teams of my boyhood, call them

the Boys of Early Spring—Eddie Stanky and Pete Reiser

and Cookie Lavagetto,  Kirby Higbe and Ed Head and that perfect

baseball name, Dixie Walker, brother to Harry the Hat Walker,

and remembered more as a bigot who wouldn’t play with Jackie Robinson

than as an outfielder, but I didn’t know that when I was

ten and we had the only television set at 946 Bushwick Avenue

and  I watched the games by  myself with a bag of candy corn

the cheapest loose candy Woolworth’s sold, assuming

the Dodgers and I would grow old together (twelve, fourteen, beyond)

and wondering why all baseball announcers had Southern accents

and now the rich players and the even richer owners have finally

decided to play some baseball and I guess I’ll slump down and

stare at the games, by myself again, without candy corn

but maybe with a sip or two of Scotch



Robert Hershon has written 15 books of poems, most recently End of the Business Day and Freeze Frame. He's won two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and three from the New York Foundation for the Arts.  Hershon has been co-editor of Hanging Loose Press since its founding in 1966. [Ed. note: Bob Hershon passed away on March 20, 2021. See the Tribute Page for more information on Bob's life and work.]


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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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