Joey Nicoletti: “To Paul Blair”

To Paul Blair

(1944-2013)

Dear Mr. Blair, 
when you asked me
if I wanted you to sign 
my baseball, bat, 
and your rookie card, 
my spirits were as high
as a moonshot smacked
by Reggie Jackson: Mr. October. 
We conversed as you signed 
everything. You said 
it was almost as great 
to be Mr. October’s teammate
as it was to talk with fans 
“like me,” who treated you
“like family.” I don’t know
how or why I didn’t faint,
but this memory is why 
I want my body to be viewed
with the baseball you signed 
in my cold, stiff hands, before 
I become smoldering ash.

_________________________________________________________________________

Joey Nicoletti was born in New York City. He works in Buffalo.

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