Patricia Deaton’s “Palaver” after Raymond Coins

Pat Reads 9-19-15  
With NY Mets currently battling Kansas City Royals in the World Series, this poem is right on time. Patricia Deaton stands in front of the Raymond Coins work, Mets Player, that inspired her poem at Hickory Museum of Art on September 19, 2015.
Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.

Patricia Deaton
PALAVER
after “Mets Player” by Raymond Coins

He stood, socking the glove pocket over and over
in front of the savings and loan where old men sat
on a ledge, watching traffic at the only stoplight in town.

Heart and soul in a gray uniform, shoulder seams resting
on elbows. Extra belt leather cinched up billowy pants,
higher on one hip than the other. Even the cap, too big,
bent his ears down. The crooked stature and withered hand
weren’t team-ready, but his chatter never stopped.

You da Babe, you da boy, you da one
You da Babe, you da boy, you da one

School children walked by and spoke—timid–and pink
in the sun like the hairless head when he lifted his cap.

You da Babe, you da boy, you da one
You da Babe, you da boy, you da one

At ball games, on the sidelines, he spit
and scratched like the rest of the cotton mill team,
glove taking a pounding, toothless mouth
in a grimace, tongue spilling endless jabber.

You da Babe, you da boy, you da one.
You da Babe, you da boy, you da one.

The day they let him bat, after two strikes, he bunted
and took off. The other team played along, fumbling
catches, missing the tag as he rounded bases.

The third baseman over threw to the catcher. The crowd
roared as he made his way, arms stretched up, face turned
toward the bleachers like God himself was cheering him on,

You da Babe, you da boy, You da one

and he slid, for all his worth, into home.

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About missmellibrary

A children's librarian who loves to excite youth about reading!
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2 Responses to Patricia Deaton’s “Palaver” after Raymond Coins

  1. patricia deaton says:

    Thanks, Ann. Your comment means a lot!

  2. This is super! Love the word “palaver.”

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