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POETRY

Pitcher Hitting a Triple
By Steven Winn

The last man who was actually there
passes away in a Boston hospital,
dying words for anyone, anywhere
with the patient wherewithal
to listen to an oldster exaggerate
how huge the hitters, fast the pitch,
from his seat behind home plate,
so close, he saw the seam, the stitch.

His final breath, a skein of history
splits like the fingers of a mitt,
leaves it to books, to mystery,
to curse, to explain the myth of it.
A thousand ways to die or lose,
so goes the one who brought the news.

—EFQ


Philadelphia native STEVEN WINN is the arts and culture critic of the San Francisco Chronicle. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and various quarterlies. He covered the newborn Seattle Mariners from 1975 to 1977 for the Seattle Weekly and has never fully recovered from the Phillies' 1964 collapse.

© 2004 Steven Winn

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