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.
from A Fury of Motion: Poems for Boys,
Boyds Mills Press, © Charles Ghigna