Out at Second Base
Guam, The Mariana Islands, February 22, 1944
His name was Dooley O’Dowd.
But we called him Francis the Loud.
He was a ball chaser,
A strong second baser
For the Mad Badger team from St. Cloud.
We didn’t much mind his big brag,
‘cause he heartily waved our brave flag,
And beneath his red hair,
A grin he would wear
And you knew he had one in the bag.
But then on that day in Guam’s rough,
Things got pretty damn tough
And the Nips were relentless
And tried to prevent us
From breaching the beach on the cuff.
Our defilade gave us some space,
And our machine gum made Nipponese lace,
But then something happened
To make us all crap and
We thought we relinquished the chase.
An enemy pineapple grenade
Came bounding to our defilade,
And we froze at the notion,
We’d be blown to the ocean,
But our buddy was steady and staid.
For Dooley he cornered the thing,
And listened to the menacing zing,
“I’ll take care of that,
You just rat-tat-tat-tat.”
And he swooped — picked it up with a fling.
Out it went from our hole with a lob,
Returned to that Japanese slob,
Who dared throw it in.
He’s gone — met his kin
And ground on the Emperor’s knob.
But through all the battle’s fray wail,
Came another pineapple’s assail,
But Dooley, he caught it,
And none of us bought it,
‘Cause he lobbed it back ‘long its trail.
And another and another did come,
But old Dooley he fielded the sum,
And hurled them away,
For the enemy’s play,
And grinned as if having his fun.
Then as the last one brought sin,
He fumbled it and it fell in,
We all brushed aside,
To minimize hide,
But Dooley he just stood and grinned.
“Don’t stop the shootin’ hombre,
It certainly’s not been my day,
I’ll take care of that,
You just rat-tat-tat-tat,
And kill those Nip bastards. Okay?”
With that said, old Dooley O’Dowd,
Dived on the bomb, hugging proud,
But we never stopped shootin’,
Or gave up our bootin’,
Wearing pieces of Francis the Loud.
In war there’s no time to mourn,
Until the end silence is born,
But this kid had the chrome
To send us all home.
But tarried at second as pawn.
We gathered him as best we could,
And over a mass grave we stood,
And tears were a plenty
For this lad of twenty,
Whose major-league dreams were kaput.
Now whenever I go to a game,
I am never quite right or the same,
For when anthem’s sung,
My whispering tongue,
Says, “Dooley O’Dowd was his name.”
Edward C. Patterson
Pacific Crimson - Forget Me Not http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BZ51YSG