Happy National Poetry Month! Thanks for dropping by my Poem Starter Video party. It’s the last day of April, and it’s been quite an adventure doing these Poem Starter Videos. I’ll share more about the process later, but I have to say it was very intimidating! I so appreciate all the fabulous poets who gave me permission to share their work, and it is with excitement and a bit of relief that I share the very last Poem Starter Video of the month.
Today’s poem comes from When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders?(Chronicle, 2012), by J. Patrick Lewis. I’ve talked loads about J. Patrick Lewis here on my blog (just type his name into the Search box to’read for yourself), so it feels fitting to end National Poetry Month with one of his poems. I’m sharing “The First” on the last (day of NPM)!
I run down
the line, eight feet,
nine…and feint to feel
the rush between the third
baseman’s brush back and home.
Whitey Ford stares through me, a sneak thief
playing on his disbelief, a phantom blackbird hopping
on and off
the dare, flinching,
inching along the ledge
to legend. I time the windup,
my pistons primed to shovel under
Yogi’s glove. Yankee Stadium is stunned!
But you can hear the cheering all the way from Harlem.
First African American baseball player in the modern era
–J. Patrick Lewis, all rights reserved
And here is my Poem Starter Video: