Mebbe Next Year: On The Occasion of The Chicago Cubs’ Impending Centennial of Futility


Tinkers to Evers to what’s the chance
a hundred seasons could come and go
so fast no one would celebrate
even one of them

Next year isn’t a mantra
it’s an elegy for wasted time
wasted efforts wasted hopes
and for all those losses
nothing is really lost
no one died from
the heartbreak no child went
hungry because Ernie Banks
never got his pennant

Instead we grew up
with our hopes either stunted
or getting ever larger
believing tomorrow will always
hold what today never can

Still going down to that damn
old park because we take defeat
as our due and know the team’s
reach never exceeds our grasp

Their wish — like our dreams — is
not of brazen prizes and spoiling
success but noon on a July day
when the breeze off the lake
might be just a little bit cool

Three Fingers Brown someone
asked you once if you could
have pitched better with all five
I’ll never know, you said
So what’s it like
to win it all?

(originally published in Eleysian Fields Quarterly)

“To know for sure,
I’d have to throw with a normal hand,
and I’ve never tried it.”
— Mordechai Centennial “Three Fingers” Brown
Win-Loss: 239-130
ERA: 2.06
Strikeouts: 1,375

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


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