|Because You will always be "The Babe"
By Zyskandar A. Jaimot on 09/15/2007
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Because You will always be "The Babe"
Because you will always be "The Babe"
as we watch in grainy news-clips those faded moments.
Even those who know nothing of sport -
we knew who you were. Your laughing face
before us in newspapers, billboards,
and magazines while smiling children begged
for autographs while you went about your work
bashing baseballs that seemed to never fall down.
Your massive upperbody stuck atop
seemingly tiny legs. Hips twisting
from the force of the swing. Your hands
choking that piece of wood made sacred
by a special tribe that would darken
the sun with driven baseballs launched
when shoulder and bicep-bone and wrist combine
with legs pirouetting as graceful as a dancer's.
And for a moment you stood there
at the end of it all. While we were on our feet.
For every swing, every hit, every miss.
Wanting to be part of baseball.
Wanting to be part of you as you began
a journey around basepath markers
of accomplishment. And then somehow
the bat is gently discarded while you begin
your pigeon-toed trot. Which adds
to majestic myth. Because you were baseball
to so many. No matter your multitude of faults.
It was always obvious you loved the game.
You were the big guy with an appetite
for everything. Who would take everything
to excess. Just as we did in those 1920's.
Because you were the epitome of our arrogance
and spontaneity. Embracing an orphan
one moment while bingeing with leggy chorus girls
the next. Pointing to where you would hit
it out and then doing it. We loved you
for your glories and for your faults.
It was as if we were all riding
the swell of the sea, and we could
see you as some colossus on the far shore,
giving us a view of a world which was safe
and true. And we still cry at your rasping voice
bidding us goodbye. And we cheer
in our hearts and smile at numbers
we have memorized. The home-runs,
the virtuoso performances, even the amount
of beer and hot-dogs you consumed
in that Bronx stadium which will forever
be your home and a measure of what #3 created
and what you awakened in us. Like the great
bandleader Souza, his compositions filling
our hearts with moments of pure joy
and triumph. When millions of dreams
and images are fueled by soaring notes
that are sharp as the crack of a batted ball.
And we never see or realize that we are watching
a metaphor of someone larger than expectation.
Never described but one that is always present
in your distant gaze. Like the way we swell
with emotion when we hear and feel the opening
of “The Stars and Stripes Forever”. Like fireworks
that always thrill. Because baseball is
what we wish you to be in our childhood innocence.
Because you are that metaphor. Because you were
born for moments when the sweet arc
from the clout of one that will never come down
soars into the sky blue immensity.
Far into cheers and applause. That signify to generations
there is a hopeful universe which waits until
the next season. Or the next at bat. Or for
the rains to stop. Or after your next round-tripper
as you doff your cap as a way to honor those
fans and a game invented for children.
Because with a swing of the bat you will always
be “The Babe”. As long as we gleefully shout, your name
will resurrect all the gone faces on those fields
and among those bleachers and there will be
no such thing as death even for starting pitchers
who never last but an inning.
© By Zyskandar A. Jaimot On 9/15/2007 2:42:22 PM