There is a ballgame in the prison yard.
A silver dollar stands on its edge on the gallows
and shivers with every hammer stroke.
Hit it and walk free.
An eagle perches on the crossbeam,
worrying at the rope. All the batters are blind
and in terrible slumps.
In the morning if the rope snaps, you'll see the afternoon.
John Baal, the Babe Ruth of the Big House
swings hard and misses; the earth wobbles
and Krakatoa blows.
Cigarette, prisoner? Blindfold?
For my last meal, I request all my past mistakes
and they are served on a cracked plate.
The eagle is fascinated with its shine and my Morse.
I yell "Pull!" and sling the plate through the bars.
A home run,
the first in years,
hits it and it blows.
See the eagle and the white shattered stars.
See the runner circling like a constellation.
One way or the other, I will leave this prison tomorrow
like a three-run shot.
For Desperate Poets "Desperate Oracles."
I drew another from my Baseball Tarot--major arcana XII the Slump, analogous to the Hanged Man in a normal Tarot deck.
These fit, as I have been experiencing both spiritual power--my sobriety anniversary was Friday--and weakness in the form of a preceding depression.
Process note: I swiped "John Baal, the Babe Ruth of the Big House" from Philip Roth's "The Great American Novel."