ONLINE BONUS: Hard-hitting Bob

If I want to recall my father’s snow-blue eyes

and his father’s before him, and that old man’s

high, cracked, Rhenish accent


there may be no more certain way

than to remember how they looked

when I asked them to name their favorite ballplayers


Grandfather Harlan – breathless, piping – said

“It vas Chimmie Foxx, the Dopple X.”

and his mind pushed aside a Shibe Park turnstile


but I think Daddy heard a broadcast reconstruction,

the mock A’s and the imitation crowd

unspooled on wire recorders in a studio,


then, from a Philco long since dust,

a drumstick socked a hollow block

and: “here’s another long, long home run


for the pride of Pryor, Oklahoma,

Hard. Hitting. Bob. Johnson.”

The distance in my father’s eyes,


looking past us to the clean arc of a ball

through cloudless skies of pure belief,

to watch once more what he had never seen

A native of eastern Pennsylvania, Jack Romig lives with his wife and son in the Berks County village of Huff’s Church. He was a longtime manuscript editor with Book-of-the-Month Club in New York City. His poems have appeared in The Fourth River and in the former online journal Common Sense 2, where he was poetry editor for three years.