Thursday, April 21, 2016

"The Little Flowers of Dan Quisenberry", by Brett Foster

Most of my Missouri friends will remember the great Royals relief pitcher, Dan Quisenberry, who threw his famed side-armed sinkers during those glory days of 1970's and 80's. We also remember that a brain tumor took him while still a young man. Quiz is remembered as well for his quirky good humor, his plain-spoken faith, and his personal courage. I came across this poem by Brett Foster that includes italicized quotes from Quisenberry. He's still an inspiration, part of our Royals legacy, and a great example of authentic faith.

The Little Flowers of Dan Quisenberry (1953 - 1998)

I've had so many good things
happen to me.
So why not me?

And why not there, in that relic-worthy skull, where his good-willed
thrust and parry with the local press existed in its jocular fullness?

I think Christ
would do it that way. Or
Steve Garvey.

Hardly a laureled Hall of Famer, but saintly in the modern sense, still hero
enough, emblazoned on my place mat, his submarine curveball thrown.

No man is worth more
than another, and none is worth
more than $12.95.

He'd be clutch in the ninth, seal the game after afternoon bullpen slumber:
those summer double-headers in the grim bubble of the Metrodome:

I don't think there are any good uses 
for nuclear weapons, but this
might be one.

I-70 World Series that year, whole state euphoric, that autumn of '85,
Was a Royals victory "God's will"? Of course! Their winning meant I'd be assertive.

God is concerned with hungry
people and justice,
not my saves.

New boy in Cardinal country, I crowed and wagged my mouth and galloped
to class wearing a plastic batter's helmet. When last bell rang I got my ass whipped.

It's here! It's Merry Christmas!

There are toys
in my locker. Gloves and bats and balls.

Friend of Dad's swore Quiz was a neighbor, single men in suburban apartments.
He gave me a signed ball (real? maybe? doubtful now) for a birthday present.

I have seen
the future, and it's much like the present,
only longer.

No idea where that ball went. For ten years I've been reprobate, estranged
by boredom from the mediocre Royals. The game never changes, but people change.
I hope Quiz had a good seat in heaven to watch the Royals return to his winning ways. More importantly, may we all learn to win at life, to throw our best stuff, and to hit whatever is pitched.

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