What the Blind Man Saw

16 Mar

What the Blind Man Saw

by L. Stewart Marsden

“Fact is, McGee, you hardly see — your glasses are so thick!
And on the day that you called play, you were also kinda sick,”
The old curmudgeon lawyer pounded hard upon the stand;
The hardened ump returned the thump with a waive-off of his hand.

“Sick enough,” the lawyer ‘llowed, “to set aside your pride
“and take a little bet that day against the Mudville Nine,
“And to pocket, as it were, a comely sum of cash
“and all you really had to do? Make Casey burn and crash!”

A loud reaction filled the room, as all gasped in surprise
O’er an ump who’d stoop and slump while cloaked in honest guise;
“Kill the Ump!” somebody yelled, and then the chorus rang;
And just before the riot grew, the judge’s gavel banged.

“Not in my court!” he cried aloud, and stood, dressed all in black,
“Now all sit down and shut your mouths — let’s get this case on track!”
The room sat down and quieted, the judge resumed his seat
And nodded to the large DA, who returned to drum the beat.

“So, there it was — four to two — the bottom of the ninth —
With only one more out to go, your money was in sight;
But Flynn, he slapped a single — barely beat the throw to first,
And Jimmy Blake made your heart quake, with a nice two-bagger burst.

“There was nuthin’ you could do — both the hits were clean
And next was up no timid pup, but the Mudville Hit Machine;
Big Casey stood at ceiling height, and weighed a half a ton,
With one swing to the left-field fence, they’d win by just a run!

“Up he stepped, and tipped his hat to the ladies in the crowd,
And rubbed his big mitts in the dirt while the fans erupted loud,
Then dug in good and solid beside the old home plate,
And cocked his bat — set to go — and nestled in to wait.

“‘Strike one!’ you called as the old bean ball just missed the outside edge,
And the catcher turned and grinned at you as you honored the money pledge,
Then Casey stood and eyed you down, “That ball was out and away!”
You looked away right and repeated “Strike.” This was to be your day.

“‘Strike two!’ you yelled, and thrust your fist out sideways to the right;
And Casey stepped out of the box — seemed ready for a fight;
‘Low — inside! That was the pitch. Another ball, I say!’
And while he burned you calmly turned, “Strike two. Get back to play.”

“Then the Mudville manager stormed out and threw his hat,
And he and you went nose to nose, pausing while he spat,
Which happened to spatter both your shoes, and you said ‘That was that!’
And kicked him out with one loud shout, announcing “Back to bat!”

“So Casey, Mighty Casey, dug his cleats into the ground,
And gripped his bat behind his head, and peered out with a frown;
The catcher sent his signal, which the pitcher first shook off,
Then nodded with a serious look, sneered at Casey with a scoff;

“Then stood up straight, and glanced to third, where Flynn had stretched a lead,
And pulled the ball up to his chin, hesitating to proceed;
The crowd all sat intently, for the moment had arrived;
The pitcher coiled, then threw the ball — a fast one — high, inside.

“And Casey, Mighty Casey swung his mighty bat at last,
Hoping for the left field fence, the final home run blast;
But all he hit was empty air, and you yelled out ‘Steee-rike Three!’
And Casey turned in great despair, denied the victory.

“Most umps, we think, are really blind. Can’t see a strike or ball.
But on that day for extra pay, you falsified your call.
While Mudville went down with a loss, they’d win others there’s no doubt,
But that one game produced the fame: Mighty Casey had struck out.

“And so I finally rest my case. The truth is plain to me:
That this blind ref is so bereft of pride and honesty;
That he can’t see the vanity of his untruthful calls,
And gains unjust due to his lust is what the blind man saw.”


One Response to “What the Blind Man Saw”

  1. skipmars March 16, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    This is a poem written as a result of a FaceBook challenge I made to friends to give me a title or subject/picture/photo to which I could respond poetically. My Son-in-law, Brad, sent me What the Blind Man Saw.

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