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By Thomas Michael McDade

The homeless guy with eyes
glued to the sports page
doesn't know he once served me
Buds at a dark morning bar
on Route 22.
He couldn'ít keep quiet
about his minor
league baseball career.
I don't recall the details,
the stats,
players who moved up
to the bigs without him.
But here at the Burger King
I watch as his eyes move
to his hand curled
like it's waiting for a ball
to drop from the fingers
of a pitching coach
who just summoned him
to the mound.
Walking to the men's room
I pass his table,
notice forehead stitches
that loop like Spalding's.
The paper is open to race results.
Blue fading horses' names
crowd his palm
like autographs
on an old team ball.



THOMAS MICHAEL McDADE lives in Monroe, Connecticut, with his wife, Carol, and works as a computer programmer in the plumbing industry. A lifelong Red Sox fan, he grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, the home of the Triple A Pawtucket Red Sox, and played on their McCoy Stadium diamond as a teenager in the Boys' Club League.

© 2000 Thomas Michael McDade


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