Guest Poet Jon Bolden

That One Shot 

One Shot 
That's all I need 
If I make this putt 
I win indeed

One Shot 
That's all it takes 
I could mean a win 
Or mean a break

One measly putt 
On the 18 green 
I played the best 
To my ability
This shot means the trophy 
It means it all 
This shot could make me fly 
Or it could make me fall
The greens are slow 
Slow, yes, indeed 
I'll have to hit it hard 
To get enough speed
Although speed isn't as important 
As aim itself 
If I miss this shot 
It could hurt my health
My mental health I mean 
I'd probably go nuts 
I'd swear I'd cry 
I'd throw a fuss
But it I make it 
Oh what joy to see 
I'd be thanking god 
Praying on my knees
I'd holler I'd shout 
I'd cry with delight 
Why if this ball goes in 
It would be quite a sight
Is there a break to the left? 
Or a break to the right? 
If I judge it correctly 
It might go in, just might
Should I use my new putter? 
Or my lucky old charm 
If I choose the wrong one 
It could cause me harm
One shot 
That's all I need 
One shot 
Could make me scream
Just one shot 
One shot indeed 
On good shot 
Could lead me to victory

So I stepped to the ball 
With my hands shaking much 
The caddy put his finger to his mouth 
And quietly spoke, "hush"
Sweating like a pig 
I pulled back to release 
I tapped the ball with the putter 
And hit it with ease
I closed my eyes in fear 
Then I heard the crowd 
I was delighted and opened my eyes 
And turned around

The ball didn't go in 
The weren't clapping for me 
They were cheering for my opponent 
Mr.Brian Mc'Gee

He won the tournament 
He won fair and square 
So I didn't say anything 
I just pulled out my hair
Just one shot 
That all I needed 
I just couldn't face the fact 
That I was defeated

I just stood there 
With my head sweating a lot 
All I could think about
Was just that one shot

I wasn't a sore loser though 
I was happy for the higher rank
So I waited afterwards 
To put sugar in his tank

February, 1998

Jon Bolden 's Questions:

Do you think the ending ruined its mood?

Correspond with Jon Bolden at
with your ideas about this poem.

The Albany Poetry Workshop