Stuart Bartow

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After Hearing Bobby Knight Rail Against Baseball Players Who Point to Heaven and Cross Themselves After Homering or
Saving a Game

Jesus does not wear a Marlins cap,
Perched in the bleachers as he guides
Giancarlo Stanton’s homerun over the wall while
munching on popcorn, nor make miracles
for the Rays because they ceased being devils.
But the gods do interfere. AresArtwork by Gene McCormick
and Aphrodite secretly date
at Dodgers Stadium, Zeus hates
domes and Astroturf, the Mariners
are kept submerged by Poseidon,
Pallas Athena has a love-hate passion
for the Red Sox, Hermes tinkers
with the White Sox for not wearing their
sox white and winged, and Circe
has hexed men into Cubs, cursed
to fail year after year. Persephone emerges
each spring in her cotton dress,
drifting unseen through the gates to witness
the fresh young men. Apollo
roots for those named for the singers of the sky,
Cardinals, Blue Jays, Orioles.
For the Giants in San Francisco,
Aeoleus wanders where he likes.
And Hephaestus, blacksmith of Olympus,
peers over his forge and through the clouds,
Pirates are the team he bellows and shouts.

But I wonder, sometimes, about the Adversary
in his Yankees t-shirt with the twenty seven
titles, Beezelbub whispering
into their third base coach’s ear;
on the bench of the vaunted team,
Mephistopheles managing, no, guiding affairs.


Stuart Bartow teaches at SUNY Adirondack where he directs the school's Writers Project, but if he had more money he would retire tomorrow and go fishing.