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Mickey Mantle

By: Michael Ceraolo

When I first came up Casey said

I would be the greatest ever,

some combination of Ruth, DiMaggio, Cobb, etc.;

I didn't quite live up to that

Near the end of my life I joked

that if I had known I was going to live that long,

I would have taken better care of myself;

if I had I might have lived up to Casey's evaluation

You probably know that 'not taking care of myself

is a euphemism for abusing alcohol

I finally realized I had a problem

and spoke about it, warning others;

some people considered my doing so heroic

I don't know about that;

I had been called a hero for most of my life

If I was now at last a real hero,

I was a deeply flawed one:

definitely not a role model,

more of a cautionary tale

 Michael Ceraolo is a 62-year-old retired firefighter/paramedic and active poet who has had two full-length books (Euclid Creek, from Deep Cleveland Press; 500 Cleveland Haiku, from Writing Knights Press) published, and has two more (Euclid Creek Book Two, from unbound content press; Lawyers, Guns, and Money, from Writing Knights Press) in the publication, Pipeline.

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