Old Timer's Day

Old Timer’s Day

When the tall puffy
figure wearing number
nine starts
late for the fly ball,
laboring forward
like a lame truckhorse
startled by a gartersnake,
–this old fellow
whose body we remember
as sleek and nervous
as a filly’s–
and barely catches it
in his glove’s
tip, we rise
and applaud weeping:
On a greenfield
we observe the ruin
of even the bravest
body, as Odysseus
wept to glimpse
among shades the shadow
of Achilles.
–Donald Hall, Old and New Poems

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