A Game of Pool? by Jude Swanson

A Game of Pool?

Is pool a game of chess, with balls and cues?
Consistent practice is how to pay your dues.
A confident swagger best describes your walk,
to the cue-tip you must then apply some chalk.
Your opponent may tell you some polished fable,
the old story about just deciding to run the table.
The quickest way to end such mindless chatter?
On the break, make all of the balls just scatter.
The smirk will quickly be replaced by a frown,
when one stripe and one solid, both go down.
Do you shoot for the hight ball or the low?
Look the balls over and you will surely know.
The Pool Police say that the number one crime,
is not having the patience to play your prime.
Will it be in the corner or in the side?
One of many rough roads you will now ride.
The superheroes of pool do not need a cape,
for they leave their shots with plenty of shape.
‘English’ is much more than the words you say,
it also describes what type of spin you will play.
Shots are stroked with plenty of draw or follow,
careless scratches are always tough to swallow.
Will you decide to strike the ball firm or light?
Your intuition will always know which is right.
A strategic game made of scratches and hooks,
tough shots which require many second looks.
There are ‘easy’ shots needing just a soft kiss,
strike the ball wrong and you will surely miss.
You have the option of cutting the ball thin or thick,
a billiards magician performs yet another trick.
You may be required to make use of the rails,
your confidence then must be tough as nails.
There is one thing that is often said of scratches,
why do they seem to occur in large batches?
Just two balls left, the game is now on the line.
Considering the pressure, you are doing just fine.
Into your chosen pocket the eight-ball will flop,
and upon the table the white ball must then stop.
The stripes or the solids was your original choice,
with the black ball now down, you may rejoice.

–Matt (Jude) Swann

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