Midwest Boys

Before Sandy came and
destroyed Rockaway, and
the (dream) bungalow along with it,
she wore her Detroit Tigers jacket like
all the boys turning into bigger boys with
their varsity letters.

Like Fred Sonic Smith, my
Brother—a Midwestern,
once baseball player,
traded in his leather glove for
an acoustic guitar.
A different American pastime.

In 2010, Armando Galarraga’s near-perfect
game for the Tigers,
cost his city acclaim.
It was against the Cleveland Indians,
my hometown.

My dad gave my mom his lettermen’s jacket.
Beachwood High School,
tennis star.
He never could’ve made it in baseball.
My mom gave the jacket to me.
The shoulder pads rest down near my elbows,
I’ve never worn it. 

What happens to the dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a pitcher’s arm, after
too many days unwarmed?
Rolling away down Rockaway’s
boardwalk, the ball and the boy,
and the dream.

Boys with varsity letters,
Long past given up, like
Midwestern, Mid-century
Industrial cities, without
Patti without Robert.
Patti without Fred.
Me without you,
wherever you may be,
don’t roll away down Rockaway. 
- Linne Halpern


Linne Halpern '18 is an English and American Studies double major at Wesleyan University. She is co-founder and editor of Reverberations. 

M Train
Written by: Patti Smith
Published by: Penguin Random House
Released: August 2016
288 Pages