A Little Piece of Night poetry

Text: Justin Wolfers

If the toss is high enough
and I really look at it,
the fuzz on the ball
as it spins from left to right,
the lights from Central
in the background,
I’ll also hear the squeaking
of basketball shoes,
the tennis coach
a court over repeating “good”
with a French inflection
that sounds more like “goo ed”,
the whirring hubs
of cyclists cruising down
from Cleveland to Chalmers…

I can’t really smell the grass
but it’s winter and it’s night.
Among the overhit balls
on the hillside are people,
homeless, who live under
the trees behind the courts.
This ball is now rotating
at its peak. It unravels
the day’s liquid crystal
display, its hunched back.
Just after the toss, and just
before the strings connect,
I’ve sequestered myself
a little piece of night.


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