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Long Beach, CA

Opening Day

Poetry Blog

Opening Day

Brandon Cook

The new year as a new babe is a bit tired
But I do like the idea of an old man facing death well and death that goes up in confetti
So sure, let’s go with tried and true clichés; they’ve paid their dues:

In its young days, being raised right
The year smelled leather, began to shape the form of ball and, most important of all,
Formed the memory to mark its life, the association distilled to one smell—
Leather and cut grass

And if January first was the day of birth, last month the year became mature
Took the car out, got its heart broken underneath the football stands, 
Found itself at a bonfire, making eyes across the smoke,
Tried its first illicit act

The year left home, too, in its rusted car, full of stuff,
To become a scholar, to run the halls of wisdom
Before it runs the bases 

And now, thank God, having tasted heartache,
No heart can come broken to Opening Day,
When hackneyed hope springs eternal
And the year is suddenly reborn
No hearts broken at 0-0
When the smell of leather and cut grass removes all the sting of coming loss

There is, if we are ever lucky and blessed, the joy of union beyond ourselves
With something that transcends our mortal frames
And what great irony: we transcend within them, in their prowess and their power
In this, the best work, of filling the earth and subduing it, on perfect grass
And white lines running towards the bliss beyond

With popcorn, with peanuts, with dumb smiles
Which is to say, with hope
On opening day