Masks conceal motives.
A doctor said it would be
like piloting my own fighter jet.
Over my nose the forced
a turtle's hump of ether.
My stepfather floated
past the table of leather straps.
Holding my baseball card collection,
he slid open the fireplace screen.
Dusty Rhodes, Mickey Mantle,
Jerry Coleman, and dozens
of outfielders were flame-licked.
I returned home to find
the ashes of the Chicago Cubs
saved in the freezer
in a plastic box
next to a broccoli carton.
* This poem, recently uncovered, was written in 1973.