“A Mile in My Shoes: Joe Jackson,” by Don Waldo

We have been discussing the book Eight Men Out in class (summary/review to come soon!), so this piece seemed appropriate this morning.  Published in Spitball Magazine, this poem does seem to capture the spirit of Jackson’s view on the 1919 fix.


I had a uniform that was dirty but a conscience that was clean.
I never laid eyes on a one of them but knew them all by name.
I never spoke to them directly but heard what they were asking.
I told them to go to hell, but they said I was already there.
I asked to sit this one out but was told I would never stand.
I never asked for nothing, but they gave it to me anyways.
I tried to tell them what was going down, but they knew what was up.
I always played to win but somehow managed to lose.
I never learned to read or write, but my signed confession still damns me.
I was owed a living wage, but he’s paying me beyond the grave.
History has called me out, but His is the only call that matters.