“Faith,” by Tim Peeler

Mickey Mantle is one of those players that everybody wants to love, and yet is becomes so hard to look past his lifestyle and how it affected his on-field performance.  This piece does a great job of capturing that sense, where, as a reader, you really want to feel sympathy for Mantle, but you can’t quite let the other stuff go.

This poem was published in Spitball magazine in October 2014.

*

Leaving Oklahoma, Mantle
Corn fed and country handsome,
Listened to his daddy and
After he died young, carried
On conversations with him
In the Yankee center field.
Mickey looked up at what stars
He could see, and there was Mutt
Telling him to move in some,
To always hit the cutoff,
But when the game was over,
Mick was all alone with his
Mates, the women, the party,
Walking Manhattan sidewalks,
The latest girlfriend on
His arm, as he drunkenly scanned
The empty meaningless sky.

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