The Buckner of the title is Bill Buckner whose famous error cost the Boston Red Sox a decisive game in the World Series.
The world is always rolling between our legs.
It comes for us, dribbler, slow roller,
humming its goat song, easy as pie.
We spit in our gloves, bend our stiff knees,
keep it in front of us, our fathers' advice,
but we miss it every time, its physic, its science,
and it bleeds on through, blue streak, heart sore,
to the four-leaf clovers deep in right field.
The runner scores, knight in white armor,
the others out leaping, bumptious, gladhanding,
your net come up empty, Jonah again.
Even the dance of the dead won't come near you,
heart in your throat, holy of holies,
the oh of your mouth as the stone rolls away,
as if it had come from before you were born
to roll past your life to the end of the world,
till the world comes around again, gathering steam,
heading right for us again and again,
faith of our fathers, world without end.
from FIELD: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, Number 62, Spring 2000
Oberlin College Press, Oberlin, OH
Copyright 1992 by John Hodgen.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced with permission (click for permissions information).