He knows he could still drive Warren Spahn’s curveball into the right centerfield power alley. But he has moved beyond batting crowns and Hall of Fame inductions. Beyond the pleas of hospitalized boys who have read too many comic-book biographies. His intercessions restored a cloud forest in Costa Rica. Brought water to those who thirsted in Haiti. Still the earth is heavy with its old grief. Clemente knows there are brown men and women adrift in a sea where slave ships once disappeared. Knows the desperation of lives lived on the cusp of earthquakes. His miracles are burdened by the evil that creeps through chastened villages in limousines. His supplicants no longer pray in the language of the blessed. Their fears pulverized beneath churches crushed into shell-game stones and homes replaced by ghosts. The Great One has always known the ground rules. Purposeful in the face of another sacrifice, Clemente rubs pine tar into the handle of his Adirondack bat. He knows the plane is overloaded with mercy, and climbs aboard again.
Michael Brockley is a 68-year old semi-retired school psychologist who still works in rural northeast Indiana. His poems have appeared in Atticus Review, Gargoyle, Tattoo Highway and Tipton Poetry Journal. Poems are forthcoming in 3Elements Review, Clementine Unbound, Riddled with Arrows and Flying Island.