I once hit clothespins   
for the Chicago Cubs.   
I'd go out after supper   
when the wash was in   
and collect clothespins   
from under four stories   
of clothesline.   
A swing-and-a-miss   
was a strike-out;   
the garage roof, Willie Mays,   
pounding his mitt   
under a pop fly.   
Bushes, a double,   
off the fence, triple,   
and over, home run.   
The bleachers roared.   
I was all they ever needed for the flag.   
New records every game—
once, 10 homers in a row!   
But sometimes I'd tag them   
so hard they'd explode,   
legs flying apart in midair,   
pieces spinning crazily   
in all directions.   
Foul Ball! What else   
could I call it?   
The bat was real.   

  • “Clothespins” from BRASS KNUCKLES. Copyright (c) 2004 by Stuart Dybek. Used by permission of the author and Carnegie Mellon Press.

  • Source: Brass Knuckles (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1979)

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