Poem Of The Week: Stickball

This week’s poem (h/t Reeves — please click that link) meanders across a suffocating New York afternoon. We’re in the 40s or 50s in a working class neighborhood and the weather is scorching — I mean it’s Do The Right Thing hot outside. You’ll feel it in a second when you read the thing. Any poem that uses “bleachered” as a verb is alright with me, and this one, written by Chuck Sullivan and first published in Esquire,  sure does:

In the middlepoets_chuck sullivan baseball card
of the concrete heat
boys manning our
sneakered positions tarred
in the block’s summer field

We hustled out
fates into shape
on the city’s sweating face
in the lean, bouncing grace
of our broomstick, rubber ball game
bound by the sewers and parked cars
of our Outlaw Little League

While on the sidelines
dreaming in our cheers
the old men watched
bleachered on brownstone stoops
and iron fire escapes
making small book on the shadowy
skills of stickball stars
lost in the late-inning sun
of the stadiumed street’s
priceless, makeshift diamond

*Edited with another Ted Walker baseball card*

1 Responses to “Poem Of The Week: Stickball”


  • Growing up in Brooklyn, and having played stickball…lost in the late-inning sun
    of the stadiumed street’s priceless, makeshift diamond…I can truly appreciate this poem. Thanks.

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