Wednesday, January 29, 2020


my local baseball card shop
rides the trump train

people can reveal themselves
with the weight and force of a hammer

or it can be as subtle
as a simple suggestion

all we were talking about
was the baseball cheating scandal
and a new manager for the mets

maybe i spied some 1988 topps
and had a ten-spot burning a hole in my pocket’
to try and finish off the set

but then i saw that hat on display

black with cheap stitching
like it was made in some sweatshop
we americans love to pretend to forget

all aboard the trump train!

just sitting there
with the mets and yankees ones

like part of a team

it’s always jarring to see that shit

especially somewhere that you
shop in at least once a week
to get that wax and gum-stained nostalgia

that cardboard fix

and i wasn’t prepared for a moral quandary
my conscience suddenly faced with a dilemma

all i wanted
was to recapture a childhood thrill
and call some millionaire ballplayers cheating scum

not get trapped inside
my own partisan debate

weigh the ethics of capitalism

yet there it sat
mr. baseball card selling man

the river wide
that suddenly separated you from me

that hat

looking as cheap and sleazy
as the orange-colored russian asset himself

all aboard the trump train!

and i bought those baseball cards anyway
and now i only need ten cards to finish the set

but it feels
as tainted as the constitution
my good man

a hollow joy

like dimestore candy

or how republicans must feel
every time they smile wide and say

god bless america!

--John Grochalski


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