I hope you have all been well.
I was digging through the archives and found some notes from a conversation I had with a passenger about the loss of childhood innocence to gambling. It inspired this poem.
I call it, “Six and Out.”
Young Danny counts the days,
Could Summer get here any slower?
He fills the tank, and primes the blades,
Of Daddy’s Victa Mower.
When daylight savings hits the clock,
He drags it from the shed.
And mows a pitch right through the guts,
Of Mum’s Gardenia bed.
Below the kitchen window,
He paints three stumps and a bail.
If you catch a nick off willows edge,
It’s automatic fail.
He stalks the local tennis courts,
For backhands gone astray.
Then he pockets yellow tennis balls,
And makes his getaway.
Back home he’s found some builders tape,
In rolls of red and black.
So he wraps up half the tennis balls,
To get them swinging back.
On Christmas Day the field is set,
With Uncles, Aunts and Nieces.
And he’s clean-bowled Uncle Gary,
Gone for none, old man’s in pieces.
And now young Danny’s at the crease,
And Aunty Trace is bowling short,
And so he pulls her for a six,
No bloody chance of getting caught.
But that ball it keeps on climbing,
High above the neighbour’s fence,
And there’s no surer thing in life,
That’s six and out, it’s common sense.
Yes, young Danny’s disappointed,
But not totally dismayed.
For tomorrow’s day is Boxing,
And the Ashes will be played.
Now to Danny there’s no sweeter sound,
Than trumpets over strings.
It’s the test match cricket theme song,
Only God’s and angels sing.
So he’s perched himself cross-legged,
On the carpet, front row seat.
And he’s hoping, willing, praying,
That the Poms can’t take the heat.
“Hey Dan, who will take the series,
And the trophy home this year?”
The question came from uncle Gary,
As he cracked another beer.
Young Danny turned to Uncle Gaz,
And this is what he said.
It was the saddest speech on Boxing Day,
Now Boxing Day is dead.
“Welllll, I’ve got Smithy in a multi,
To score more runs than the rest.
Into Starc to take 5 wickets,
On the first day of the test.
I’ve got the Aussies in a series sweep,
For ten bucks, paying five.
And Dave Warner best and fairest,
For his deadly cover drive.
And that fifty in my Christmas card,
From you and Aunty Trace,
I’ll throw $25 each way,
Menangle Park, the final race.
I’ve got bonus bets from Ladbrokes,
And the Tab and William Hill.
And Joely Caine from Sports Bet,
Flicked me fifty for the thrill.
Soooo, I hope the Aussies thrash em’,
Cos’ I’m outta cash till May.
What’s in May? Old Gary asked.
My twelfth birthday, my next pay.
By Ben Phillips.