Photo By Jools Thatcher

Photo By Jools Thatcher

The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Ready”

Ed Bates does sterling service on the guitar duties this week

[audio:JVG_Poem20091129.mp3]

READY

“Batsmen ready?” the umpire enquired
As ‘Pig’ Mills prepared to take strike
Formalities over, he barked at the bowler
“Righto, whenever you like”

‘Pig’s’ first game in the under elevens
For him, this was a dream
Twelfth man all season – he was ready for this
Opening bat for his team

Margaret French, better known as ‘Frog’
Was as wide as she was tall
The muscle and tone of an East German sprinter
And a demon with the new ball

Fitter and stronger than most of the blokes
And better than all on her day
She trained before school by cleaning the stables
Lumping feed and mucking out hay

Now “Pig’ wasn’t expecting a female
The thought of it stuck in his craw
How would it look, belting a Sheila
Into the outfield for four

His worries dissolved with the very first ball
As “Frog” rolled over her arm
The ball whistled past the motionless ‘Pig’
Uncharacteristically calm

‘Frog’ was bemused by ‘Pig’s’ cool resolve
And assumed he chose to ignore it
The reason, however, was far less impressive
The truth is “Pig’ never saw it

By the end of the over, rattled and baffled
Reality began to set in
He’d faced six deliveries without sighting the ball
The last one nicking his chin

Now ‘Pig’ wasn’t the sharpest of pencils
And the hinges were loose on his door
More concerned of being bowled by a girl
Than he was of making a score

If he hung round much longer ‘Frog’ would claim him
A fact beyond any doubt
So ‘Pig” decided, the sensible thing
Was to try to run himself out

The success of his plan was breathtaking
But an outcome he didn’t intend
To the ire of his team mates he managed to run out
All ten batsmen at the non striker’s end

In the process ‘Pig’ set two club records
Though none were too pleased with that
The first in their history to take all ten wickets
And the first to carry their bat

‘Pig’ stood the crease for forty six runs
Which he stressed with considerable pride
Till the coach pointed out the total consisted
Of forty five byes and a wide

‘Pig’ returned to carrying the drinks
A position he would never surrender
Seems he wasn’t as ready as he thought he was
At least not on the issue of gender

© Copyright 2009 Ian Bland

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