Poetic License: Six days in the life of Wilson One
I can’t believe what’s happened!
The seniors put me in a can
without one of my brothers
and dropped a fuzzless hard court Dunlop
right on top of me. Bad enough
that I spent three months
with my brother’s bottom
right in my face but one night
with this bald smelly Dunlop
who can barely bounce off the clay
has made me long to be back
in the can with my brothers.
I’m being hit softly by women now.
They try to lob me over each other
even though they all stand back
on the baseline.
The points last even longer
than they did with the seniors
and one of them keeps scaring
the fuzz out of me by shrieking
every time she hits me out.
There are some pluses with the women:
when I look up from the ground
underneath them I get some good views
and during one changeover
a real good looking one keeps me warm
in her panties ball pocket
for more than five minutes
as she recounts bargain successes
she has enjoyed in area tennis shops.
During another change
they put my brother next to me
on the ball tray and we lie there wondering
what’s happened to our missing brother
and if we’ll ever see him again…
I’m in one of the Pro’s baskets now
with a hundred other balls
in various stages of deterioration:
some stripped to their rubber core,
others dirty with soil and clay,
a few like me still clean and lively,
with good tennis left in them.
But we only get hit and returned
once every hundredth time:
the rest of the time we lie there
all over the practice court
until the basket empties
and the students pick us up
with hoppers or by hand
and the Pro starts feeding us
to the students again.
I get hit only eight times the whole day.
At night in the basket
I cannot sleep with these hundreds
of dead decaying balls on top of me.
I guess the end is near.
I’m in the ball machine tray
from where I’m sucked and hurled,
not hit – then hit back once
and returned to nowhere.
No player touches me anymore,
No player strokes or spins me
to work a point.
I think of my brothers who are probably
in another part of the machine
or in a basket in the pro shop
or lying out somewhere rotting
in the damp and cold.
I think of Topspin, his big sweet spot
and that glorious moment
when he smashed me to victory
and I was still neon bright and lively
and a real ball.
But now there’s no one,
no one to take me out,
no one to return me,
no one to ever put me into play again.
(to be continued)