August 18th, 2007

poetry

Poet's Corner: Prayer for the Captain

Prayer for the Captain

There's a little prayer I always say
Whenever I think of my family or when I'm flying,
When I'm afraid, and I am afraid of flying.
It's just a little one. You can say it no matter what,
Whether you're Catholic or Jewish or Protestant or whatever.
And I've probably said it a thousand times
Since I heard the news on Thurman Munson.

It's not trying to be maudlin or anything.
His Eminence, Cardinal Cooke, is going to come out
And say a little prayer for Thurman Munson.
But this is just a little one I say time and time again,
It's just: Angel of God, Thurman's guardian dear,
To whom his love commits him here there or everywhere,
Ever this night and day be at his side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide.

For some reason it makes me feel like I'm talking to Thurman,
Or whoever's name you put in there,
Whether it be my wife or any of my children, my parents or anything.
It's just something to keep you really from going bananas.
Because if you let this,
If you keep thinking about what happened, and you can't understand it,
That's what really drives you to despair.

Faith. You gotta have faith.
You know, they say time heals all wounds,
And I don't quite agree with that a hundred percent.
It gets you to cope with wounds.
You carry them the rest of your life.

August 3, 1979
Baltimore at New York
Pregame show

Phil Rizzuto (1917 – 2007)
Tom Peyer and Hart Seely, ed.

This is from O Holy Cow, Tom Peyer and Hart Seely's collection of "found poetry" drawn from the strange stream of consciousness ramblings that issued forth from long-time New York Yankees color commentator Phil Rizzuto, who died this week at the age of 89. This is one of the better ones, "composed" after the death of Yankees captain Thurman Munson in a plane crash in 1979.

Incidentally, O Holy Cow is currently the best-selling poetry book on Amazon.com, which prompted Peyer to post a weblog entry entitled, "Take That, People Who Really Write Poetry." But you know, if that thing up there isn't poetry, I don't know what is.