THE DAY GEORGE STEINBRENNER DIED
Jerusalem, July 13, 2010
From my bench in the shade, I groan
at missed swings, smile at clean hits,
sigh at every bobble in the field.
Both teams are wearing black and white:
black pants and leather shoes;
white dress shirts and tzitzit dangling;
kippot on the edge of their heads.
The catcher wears his tallit katan
outside his shirt, its horizontal,
black wool stripes at first mistaken
for a chest protector. I suspect
they are American boys attending
yeshiva for the year. Maybe some
are Yankees’ fans, a number from
New York. Maybe one or two watch
the boxes in the English papers.
None has likely heard the news
out of the Bronx. Here, another
hot summer afternoon in Jerusalem
will be ending soon, the late-day
winds already claiming the Judean hills.
As I close my eyes, this uneven lawn
is suddenly the citadel of stadiums
and the rising roar is more than
today’s game crowd filling the stands
but God’s booming voice igniting
the dry air. Such things are heard
here every day or just imagined.
Steven Sher is the author of 14 books including Grazing on Stars: Selected Poems (Presa Press, 2012) and the forthcoming The House of Washing Hands (Pecan Grove Press).