The rumors are rising, fast as the stats—
the seniormost players defying their years
as reporters crowd the clubhouse like gnats
to pester players’ post-victory ears.

The bug-eyed he-men shrug and swear
they’ve never done ’roids; none on the team
use any drug that’d give them an unfair
leg up, but locker rooms reek with the cream

and the clear, which the trainers promised
would give them a boost. Gofers bearing brown bags
know the sources, the doses, the drill should
the trainer get caught and team numbers sag.

Networks don’t take sides. They’ll pounce on a hearing—
“Suspected offender suspended ten games”—
and question the sentence; later they’re cheering
the breaking of records, not the naming of names.

A defiant DH, wad of chaw in his cheek,
chides skeptics that baseball’s no place for the weak.

Winter 2007