Clothespins

By Stuart Dybek b. 1942 Stuart Dybek
I once hit clothespins   
for the Chicago Cubs.   
I'd go out after supper   
when the wash was in   
and collect clothespins   
from under four stories   
of clothesline.   
A swing-and-a-miss   
was a strike-out;   
the garage roof, Willie Mays,   
pounding his mitt   
under a pop fly.   
Bushes, a double,   
off the fence, triple,   
and over, home run.   
The bleachers roared.   
I was all they ever needed for the flag.   
New records every game—
once, 10 homers in a row!   
But sometimes I'd tag them   
so hard they'd explode,   
legs flying apart in midair,   
pieces spinning crazily   
in all directions.   
Foul Ball! What else   
could I call it?   
The bat was real.   

“Clothespins” from BRASS KNUCKLES. Copyright (c) 2004 by Stuart Dybek. Used by permission of the author and Carnegie Mellon Press.

Source: Brass Knuckles (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1979)

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Poet Stuart Dybek b. 1942

Subjects Youth, Sports & Outdoor Activities, Living, Activities

 Stuart  Dybek

Biography

Poet and fiction writer Stuart Dybek was born in 1942 and raised on the South Side of Chicago. He attended Loyola University in Chicago and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His collections of poetry include Brass Knuckles (1979) and Streets in Their Own Ink (2004). His works of fiction, including the short story collections Childhood and Other Neighborhoods (1980) and The Coast of Chicago (1990), and the novel-in-stories I Sailed . . .

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SUBJECT Youth, Sports & Outdoor Activities, Living, Activities

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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