Steven Sher: "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).