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Old 05-25-2005, 01:58 PM   #6
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A Poem for the 7th game

(orginally posted 10/31/2003)

It took me more than a week to begin this, which began writing itself in my head on the night of October 16th. It is in part a horror story in the form of a poem and so appropriate for Halloween, but we have had enough ghost stories to last for quite a while, thank you, so I tried to soften the blow a bit. I felt better after writing it and exorcising some demons of my own, so hopefully you will feel a little bit of the same after reading it.

I dedicate this poem to the memory of my Aunt Eleanor, a Red Sox fan to the core, may she rest in peace and the certain knowledge that we'll get 'em next year.

Diamonds and Dust

You wish that you could stop the painful memories return
Whose images upon our minds eternally are burned
Those haunting blows that seem to laugh and mock us in the dark
And find the weakest points inside wherein they leave their mark

This time the tale is of two men who wore the scarlet B
Upon their brows a navy cap and the weight of history
For everywhere are Red Sox fans that bear a broken heart
And remember October 16th as the night it fell apart

One of them a pitcher some would say who topped them all
A man that when t'was darkest, you would want to have the ball
An artist and a diva and a master or a con
Whose shoulders knew the weight that all our hopes did rest upon.

The other is a man whose story came to bitter ends
And never should have left North Carolina for the Fens
But leave it all behind he did because he loved this game
Now forever foul profanites are wedded to his name

Pedro was the genius with a horsehide in his hand
And in his lengthy fingers it would do as he'd command
But fragile is his shoulder so we'd lift him when it burned
In hopes that he would pitch someday when all the leaves had turned

Now Grady was a decent man and solid was his word
And respected by his charges despite charges you have heard
A player's manager indeed and often on the spot
But we chalked up 95 wins and locked down a wild card slot

You see these guys were different and were not your Father's Sox
They cowboyed up when things got tight, chased many from the box
With all for one and one for all, to win it was their goal
They flourished in the pressure that makes diamonds out of coal

We watched them as we'd always done, but special they did seem
And we tossed our fears away and once again we chased the dream
They would burst into a light more blinding than the Summer sun.
And for once at last, at long last we would call them Champions.

That dream it seemed was short-lived when in Oakland on the coast
We were down two games to none and it appeared that we were toast
But we rallied and kicked their asses, just like Todd Walker said
Now the Yanks, our ancient rivals, lay in waiting just ahead

So once again the trumpets blew, and stars were all aligned
As if crafted by the Baseball Gods and all the fates designed
Once more the pinstriped Yanks would be the ones we'd have to face
and a curse of eighty-five years length could finally be erased

It went much as expected and these two ancient rivals fought
And added to the legends in the manner that they ought
Both teams and fans exhausted from the first half dozen's strain
Went onward to a seventh without a clue to which would reign

The matchup for that evening brought a wry smile to our face
A high-noon showdown featuring our once and current ace
The Rocket moved on years before, now his twilight gathered fast
His long and gloried days at end, this night could be his last

If that ironic twist was not enough to bring a thrill
In the game we had to win we would send Pedro to the hill
In the churning, angry maelstrom of the House-that-Ruth-built's glare
There stood a lone Dominican who was no stranger there

It wasn't very long before we torched Clemens for four
And edged a struggling Roger ever closer to the door
Then Torre pulled the plug and from the legend took the ball
And he walked head down those dugout steps to a final curtain call

Martinez was magnificent and the equal to his task
And ignored the taunting insults rain, as if you had to ask.
In his piercing eyes unblinking you could see the fires burn
We could feel the Empire crumbling for tonight would be our turn

The cameras panned the stands and their faces did betray
Uncertainty was creeping in, t'was not to be their day
For Pedro did display that night a master craftman's touch
So often we had seen from him, though lately not that much

Through six he'd silenced bats that had produced a single run
And we went into the seventh with a score that stood at four to one
Pedro showed he's mortal and the Yanks showed they weren't through
And three solid smashes later closed the gap to four to two

We could see Martinez tiring as so often was the case
He'd thrown one hundred pitches and you could see it in his face
But he escaped the inning and we didn't wonder why
He thanked the Gods he prayed to and then pointed at the sky

Six outs awaited destiny and the Sox showed they weren't through
When Ortiz took Wells deep and pushed the lead to five to two
So it seemed that the Yankees had their backs against the wall
And Timlin at the bullpen gate was waiting for the call

But the call was not to come and to our horror and chagrin
A shocked and puzzled Nation saw Martinez was still in
Without a breath we watched that weary warrior kick and throw
And he got Nick Johnson to popout and there were only five to go

When Jeter smacked a double it seemed our worst fears had come true
Surely now he'd pull him, surely now he'd see he's through
Surely now he'd choose to lift him and to turn this thing around
And then Grady, Grady Little walked out slowly towards the mound

We finally took a breath because it seemed he'd heard our plea
To pull our Ace and in his place pitch Timlin or Embree
Pedro's heart was willing, but his pride a deadly sin
Shook off the signs to hit the pine and help cement the win

He told the skip he could go on, though you know it was a lie
And frozen in the spotlights glare old Grady let him try
Now none of us will ever know or ever understand
The thoughts, or lack thereof, that then existed in that man

And so we watched in horror as on deaf ears fell our plea
Bernie hit a single and our lead shrank five to three
An old familiar song began that played by ghostly hands
And Matsui cracked a double which bounced in the right field stands

While in the dugout Grady sat and watched it from afar
And left it to his Cowboy's care and to his falling star
There was no way could we stop it, not for money nor for love
And Posada's blooper landed far past Nomar's outstretched glove

We watched it all unravel and afraid it was too late
And Matsui rounded third and then he slid and slapped the plate
Then that Master of the obvious found his way out to the hill
But by now in Red Sox Nation there had spread a ghostly chill

Now everywhere across this land and far-off foreign soil
Wherever Sox fans gathered angry blood began to boil
They called for Grady's carcass and they called for Grady's head
And we knew deep in our bones the year was over, we were dead

By now it's all a blur - I can't recall what happened after that
I sat stock-still an empty shell in a navy baseball hat
I might have been there on my couch or the mountains of the moon
And the final blow, if you have to know, an irony from Boone.

Now everywhere a stillness hung, so empty, vast and deep
As parents watched their little Sox fans cry themselves to sleep
And we within our walls of pain sat long into the night
Staring at the darkness until replaced by morning's light

Now Fenway sits in shadows deep awaiting winter's snow
And bare tree branches - silhouettes in the fading sunset's glow
There's a rhythm in this life of ours - an ever rolling tide
That those who wear the Scarlet B know all too well inside

But seasons lose thier hold on us so another may begin
And soon enough this one will pass and we will start again
For whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger in it's turn
And the fires of the Hot Stove League already hotly burn

Again we all will proudly don familiar navy hats
And the thunder of a summer's night will come from Boston bats
A phoenix from the ash will rise and soon will take it's wing
For deep down in our Red Sox hearts hope does eternal spring

Last edited by Hawg73; 05-25-2005 at 02:02 PM..
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