By six, Bobby Balls-In-Hand is down grocery money.
By seven, a month without gas and cigarettes.
He chalks his stick between each shot,
uses a plethora of tissues to wipe
sweat and chalk dust from his hands.
By ten, he’s down rent.
By eleven, he’s writing an IOU.
The men say he got his moniker
because he can’t keep Whitey on the table,
but during a lull between songs,
he kneels in front of the ball return
to pick up an abandoned nickel.
As if in confession, he speaks hesitantly:
Once I was married to a beautiful woman.
We had a beautiful little girl.
But you know I can’t resist a money game
even if I know I’ll lose.
When she couldn’t wait up anymore, she left,
no forwarding address,
no further contact.
So, that’s how I really got my name,
my wife left me
with my fucking balls in my hand.