I dreamed Ted Williams
leaning at night
against the Eiffel Tower, weeping.
He was in uniform
and his bat lay at his feet
– knotted and twiggy.
‘Randall Jarrell says you’re a poet! ‘ I cried.
‘So do I! I say you’re a poet! ‘
He picked up his bat with blown hands;
stood there astraddle as he would in the batter’s box,
and laughed! flinging his schoolboy wrath
toward some invisible pitcher’s mound
– waiting the pitch all the way from heaven.
It came; hundreds came! all afire!
He swung and swung and swung and connected not one
sinker curve hook or right-down-the middle.
A hundred strikes!
The umpire dressed in strange attire
thundered his judgment: YOU’RE OUT!
And the phantom crowd’s horrific boo
dispersed the gargoyles from Notre Dame.
And I screamed in my dream:
God! throw thy merciful pitch!
Herald the crack of bats!
Hooray the sharp liner to left!
Yea the double, the triple!
Hosannah the home run!