Joey Nicoletti – To Razor Shines

To Razor Shines

Dear Mr. Shines: Razor,
do I have to live
a life others want
for me, just because
they’ve chosen it
for themselves?

When I look at your baseball card,
I see the back yard
of the house I grew up in,
where hubcaps bloomed
beside black-eyed-Susans.
I see myself

sitting at a round, burgundy
spray-painted wooden table,
slurping a glass of iced tea
as I read and memorize
the names of ballplayers
and the various cities and towns
they hail from. For instance,

Razor is your middle name.
Durham, North Carolina,
intrigued me: it was
somewhere and something different
from what I knew;
hundreds of miles away

from the constant yelling,
screaming, kicking, and punching;
from the rubber boots, pumps,
and knives the adults
in my family hurled
at each other
as well as me. Your name;
 
your career in The Show;
your time as a Montreal Expo
became a hope
that I could make
a different reality
for myself;

that I could find
my own way
to be present
in the moment
without knowing
precisely how
 
things would work out.
And I am grateful
to have this card,
this marvelous window,
where I can still see and hear
some chickadees, perched
on a clothesline; their gold chatter
cracking a concrete patio.

~

Joey Nicoletti is the author of four books and four chapbooks, most recently Boombox Serenade (BlazeVOX, 2019) and Counterfeit Moon (NightBallet Press, 2016). Of course we are partial to his collection THUNDERSNOW because we published it.

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