Poetic License: Five days in the life of Wilson One
FFFffffree at last!
Three months compacted
in this vacuumed womb,
one brother pressing down
the other shoving up on me,
we’re out now and free
to go our own way,
I can hardly wait to be bounced
and smacked over that net
and fly through this delicious air
and land just inside a baseline.
Ah, easy does it now during warm-up.
Close-in volleys until everyone gets loose.
I love the feel of the strings on my rear,
these players are really good.
Since we’re number ones
and this is court number one
this must be a match between the best players.
My wildest dreams have come true.
Pow! Pow! Both sides, good and hard!
One player hits me from the bottom up
so that I bounce like I’m on a trampoline
right over the opponent’s head
and over the fence. They call it topspin
and now I’m soaking on the grass
while they play out the game
and just when I think I’m about to drown
from all this moisture,
the cockeyed leftie who’s been hitting me
and my brothers from the wrong side
rescues me and dries me with his shirt tail —
then serves me wide for an ace.
Wow! This match is really close,
can’t decide who to root for.
One player squeezes me and my brothers
before deciding which of us to serve
(as if he can tell the difference)
then puts me back into his sweaty pocket
every time. I hate him. His partner, Mr. Topspin,
serves me with a great American twist
and punches me with real crisp volleys.
His racket has a big sweet spot
and he hits me with it most of the time.
I love him.
On the other side,
one partner pounds me like Pete Sampras,
over a hundred miles an hour
on his first serve
but I usually land out of the box
and he second serves me softer
and slower than a practice ball.
His partner, the leftie, keeps driving
my brothers and me crazy:
we brace ourselves to be hit on one side,
he hits us on the other;
we get ready for a spinning backhand,
he smacks us with a vicious forehand.
I guess I’ll stick to the oath of the ABA,
(The American Balls Association)
the one they made us take
before they sealed us in the can:
“I swear to bounce true to the best
of my ability and judgment and
do no harm to or favor any player.”
Every ball’s dream is to be in play
at match point.
Mr. Topspin, my great love,
is serving me and my two brothers, jealous,
jostle in his pocket, hoping he’ll miss
the first serve so that they’ll get a chance
for glory but the American twist serve
kicks me high, hissing right on the “T”,
Mr. Cockeyed Leftie blocks me back
crosscourt but high and Topspin
puts me away with a gorgeous smash
just inside the baseline
and I land as hard as I can
so that there will be a clear mark
and Leftie and his partner
who have called me out on two occasions
when I was really in, have no choice
but to call me fair and admit defeat.
A glorious first day and final point.
I guess I forgot my oath, but listen,
every good ball loves to get smashed
once in a while —
especially by the right player!