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NOSE OR BAT
by Claude Jones


The game was baseball, the game I most love to play
Saltillo versus Pontotoc, on a most eventful day
Jerry Holcomb was our pitcher, the game important as life
Holcomb’s fastball was jumping, his curve causing great strife

Each pitch, each swing, we gritted our teeth and strained
Saltillo must go down, we had practiced and we had trained
Leigh Dillard was playing first base, Jim Hester second sack
Steve Jones held the hot corner; I was playing short way back

Jerry Patterson was the catcher, Danny Hooker centerfield, quick and fleet
Johnny Coward was in left; Bob Clement in right was a treat
The game was oh so close, our sweat poured and to our body stuck
We really wanted this win; we would use all our skill and luck

Even Holcomb seemed serious, though he often was not
He wound up and zoomed each pitch, this game meant a lot
Coach Sanders yelled, he paced and urged us on
It soon was late innings, the game had really flown

Then with runners on bases, the game upon the line
Holcomb called us all to the mound, after calling time
For to the plate walked Saltillo’s biggest and ugliest guy
We knew Holcomb had a plan, something special he wanted to try

The batter’s name was Blount, and he stood six-foot-three
He was big and strong, and swung a bat almost as big as a tree
His face was hard and rugged, his nose large and long
Holcomb stared and he smiled, just like he didn't’t belong

With us all gathered round, Holcomb took off his hat
“Please help me out, guys, I can’t tell Blount’s nose from his bat”
We gaped in disbelief, then met each others' eyes
We burst out in laughter; every player bent double and rolls until he cries

Holcomb had figured it out, it was just a game
Play our best we would, but never for fortune and fame





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    BIO: Claude Jones
    "I write poetry for the pleasure of writing. Writing is my escape, often my very best friend. I read and love free verse poetry but for me to write I seemingly must write in meter and rhyme."

    "I was born, raised and lived all my life in Pontotoc, Mississippi. I was raised on a farm where we milked cows, raised cotton, corn, and had a peach orchard. I have worked for Pontototc Electric Power for 31 years. My wife Ann and I have two sons, both are pharmacists, and we have two grandchildren."

    Want to read more of Claude’s writing at USADEEPSOUTH? Click these links:
    Who Has The Edge?
    Two Poems
    Two Poems - II
    Mama
    Riding Down Trees
    Mule's Gold
    Young Dreams and Old Realities


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