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ON THE COVER
In memory of Jack Marsh, second baseman, Yale University, 1943
Before the bayonet replaced the bat,
Jack Marsh played second base for Yale;
his spikes anchored into the August clay,
his eyes set deep against the setting sun.
The scouts all knew his numbers well,
had studied his sure hands that flew
like hungry gulls above the grass;
but Uncle Sam had scouted too,
had chosen first the team to play
the season's final game of '44,
had issued him another uniform
to wear into the face of winter moon
that shone upon a snowy plain
where players played a deadly game,
where strikes were thrown with each grenade
and high pitched echoes linger still,
beyond the burned out foreign fields
and boyhood dreams of bunts and steals,
young Jack Marsh is rounding third,
and sliding, sliding safely home.
It happens every year
from autumn to spring,
a dozen or so are lost,
good ole boys every one;
boys from Butler County,
Bibb, Clarke and Cullman,
boys from Bullock and Clay,
boys who stay up late
every November evening
rubbing oil and dreams
into the steel of old guns,
boys who leave warm homes
to walk cold woods, forever.
The Bowman’s Hand
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