Imploding the Memories

My poem, “Imploding the Memories,” was originally written shortly after Veteran’s Stadium was demolished. It has been accepted for publication by Nine: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture. The publisher, the University of Nebraska Press, has allowed me to post a copy of the poem.

 

7 a.m., 3/21/04

An overhead view of Veteran’s Stadium

A grey cloud rises

Veterans Stadium falls

58 seconds end 32 years

Now the Phanatic don’t dance here no more

 

Home to Schmidt, Carlton, Charlie Hustle

and the trophy

ending 97 heartbreaking years

Reduced to dust in early morning

And the Phanatic don’t dance here no more

The Phillie Phanatic dancing

 

Seats stung, turf cut and bruised

Even hot dogs disappointed

But this cookie-cutter park

was the center of many worlds

Now the Phanatic don’t dance here no more

 

Each game someone’s pilgrimage,

dream fulfilled, check on a list

My day came fall ’88

Expos in, Schmidt out

and a scalper unloaded skybox

Five bucks for game, food, and drinks

until rain in the sixth

Redeemed by the full show the next day

Two thrilling games, two sad memories

for Youppie’s out of a job

Former site of home plate

And the Phanatic don’t dance here no more

 

Greater parks come, greater parks go

CBP sprung up nearby

Rubble cleared and paved

Markers show the old bases

but memories lie beneath

For the Phanatic don’t dance here no more

 

Published in NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture. Vol. 25, Nos. 1-2, Fall-Spring 2016-17

Veteran’s Stadium image courtesy of NASA (Public Domain); Phillie Phanatic image courtesy of slgckgc (Flickr) (Creative Commons Attribution-2.0 Generic); Home Plate image courtesy of James Craven (Wikipedia) (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0)