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An August Place to Be

In winter, working's easy. I just sit here at my screen
And type in what needs typing. Ah, you know the stuff I mean.
It might be hard to get to work, the driving might be tough,
But once I'm here, it's warm and bright, and that's about enough
To banish the distractions that might otherwise intrude
Upon the work of scribbling 'bout out games, and I'm imbued
With concentration that's sufficient. Outside is a mess:
The cars slide into snow banks on the street below, so guess
Where I would rather be: stuck in the weather or right here,
Just typing what needs typing? You can see the choice is clear.

But come the month of August, working's quite another thing,
For as I type, I know a little west of here the king
Of sports - or sport of kings - whichever - is transpiring daily At
Saratoga. Horses run, and all of them would pay me
If only I were there instead of here. I'm sure it's true...
I'd breakfast on fresh strawberries, and that's not all I'd do.
I'd sip hot coffee at the rail and figure all the races.
I'd pick not only winners but the shows as well, and places.
But first I'd watch the morning works, and read and mark the form...
And marvel at the lawns of green, and clear air from the storm
That washed away the heat that sometimes burdens summer days.
They would be cool, those mornings, were I there, and all the bays
And grays and browns and blacks all set to win would see me there,
And wink, and I would never miss the signals, and with care
But joyfully I'd make my bets, and when the day was done,
I'd wander into town and celebrate with what I'd won...
But celebrate with class and moderation, since the nack
Of picking winners means I'd have my breakfast at the track.
While losers still were sleeping, I would learn what losers missed,
Because they hadn't seen the horses pound out of the mist,
Before the sun dispersed it and crowd filled up the space...
I'd find myself in tune with that sweet track, that magic place.

Or so I'd like to think. It is a vision that I choose...
And if I don't attend the races, well, I never lose.

This program aired on August 12, 2005. The audio for this program is not available.

Bill Littlefield Twitter Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.

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