Waiting for Jacqueline Robinson
At the empty college backstop
I bring a bucket of baseballs
throw them to Anna at the plate
tell her to swing at every one
watch the ball & hit it.
Her coach asks, “Why did she swing
it was over her head?” I say
“She hit it, got on base; at this age
they throw strikes by accident.”
She is small, fast, knocks down
boys blocking the plate. I tell her
you could be the first woman
major league baseball player.
Of course she has other ideas.
Now she helps people stay well
is gentle & kind, what she wants to do.
In the Summer we keep score at ball games
I am still waiting for Jacqueline Robinson
to make that great play at second base.
The Poet’s Coat
It was a corduroy sport jacket
black, big pockets & became
my “Poet’s Coat,” the one I wore
to open mics with the ancient pin
“Support Your Local Poet” from Elaine
Cohen oh so many years ago
the only jacket I would wear
to the QE2 back when smoking
was allowed — some would say
“required” — in bars & when I
cranked out poems of great social
importance on love & sex
& breakups, on Death & politics
on nothing at all.
like everything it got frayed, tired
somehow grew smaller, too tight
& I found a replacement, already
patched in the Goodwill store
& wore that one through more
poems until it too showed
signs of wear, of age.
the next generation, the grandson
is brand new, fits better, elegant
like the vanity I’ve aged into
& the poems— but still
a “Poet’s Coat” — & like
the poems still simply bags of shit
dressed up in our Sunday best.
Dan Wilcox is the host of the Third Thursday Poetry Night at the Social Justice Center in Albany, N.Y. and is a member of the poetry performance group “3 Guys from Albany”. As a photographer, he claims to have the world’s largest collection of photos of unknown poets. He has been a featured reader at all the important poetry venues in the Capital District & throughout the Hudson Valley and is an active member of Veterans for Peace. He also publishes poetry under the imprint, A.P.D. (albany’s poetic device, another pleasant day, etc.). You can read his Blog at dwlcx.blogspot.com.