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Sample Poems by Charles Sean Carroll

In Dreams

Crescent carvy quivers
In the corners of his mouth
A slant of light brushes cross his pillow
The finger of the weeping willow
Scratches at his window
Beneath his bed two headed trolls
They grumble and they groan
He does not awaken

For he has one more chance
To go deep in the hole and nip the bunny by half a hop
One more chance to wallop one
That wipes the shine right off the moon
One more chance to sneak the bender
Past the creature from the black lagoon

He does not awaken
Not yet
This freckled boy who plays baseball in his dreams.

Wiffleball on Jackson Street

You stay long enough
Stick your stubby jelly- stained fingers
Through cold chain link
Give it a shake
Maybe, just maybe, they'll let you in

The chances aren't good-these are college boys after all
With college boy heads crammed full of future fumblings
Under stained and crumpled bed sheets

You stay long enough
You might learn the words you know already but never did
Left, right, center, short
You'll see that white piece of plastic dip and dive and hover
Like a hummingbird over a honeysuckle bush.

You stay long enough
Might ask you to play.

We Knew Then

There is a tale behind the winning of every Cy Young Award.

In the Hitherbee home, the story unfolds at Sunday dinner
Some twenty years earlier.
The table is filled with bowls of steaming carrots and cauliflower,
Buttery heaps of mashed potatoes
And a roasted bird in grave repose.
After grace, Mr. Hitherbee nods toward the sandy haired boy
Wedged between Uncle David and Aunt Esther.
"Cromwell, will you please pass the gravy?"
Cromwell snatches the sterling silver gravy boat and executes a textbook rocker step
His lift leg unhurriedly rises, then the towel snap of a wrist,
The back spin so tight the boat could have been a portrait on the wall.
Not a dinner guest stirs nor a single sound echoes across the hardwood floor,
Save for the plink of Aunt Esther's upper dentures as they splash into her water glass.
Credit must be given to Mr. Hitherbee, who, with drooping jaw and twitching eyebrows,
Catches the gravy boat along his nipple line.

There is a tale behind the winning of every Cy Young Award.

The Study

We were perhaps the first
Second graders to dare
Bridge the divide between
Babysitter Sue and Science
To study Mantle's mighty blow in '56.

A plastic spoon arching back with the sneak of one finger
There it goes, cutting through greasy air
Our rubbery skin stretches over our cheekbones
To keep our giggles hunched on the backs of our tongues.

In those fifteen minutes
We thought that Cooperstown might come calling
And unsmiling men wearing the whitest of gloves
Might hang the results of our study
Next to number seven's plaque.

Now we'll never know.

For babysitter Sue
She with the fuzzy brown spot
Shaped like Rhode Island on her right cheek
Twisted our ear lobes
Until we cleaned the pasta rings from the kitchen wall
That is, I mean
All five hundred and sixty-SIX feet
Of mighty Mick's unholy mash.