Thursday, May 26, 2005

Tennis Ball


At birth you are rushed
To a sterile and dry place,
Leaving thousands of siblings
Packaged with but two.
The nascent smell is overpowering,
In such close and closed quarters,
Your fuzzy sides gently touching
On one side a brother,
In every way your identical
And on the other your cage
Trapped behind plastic walls.

You lose your sense of identity,
Surrounded by others
In other plastic prisons,
In an enormous warehouse,
A place of misery,
The contradiction of thousands
Living isolated together.

Eventually someone picks your cage,
And throws you in a trunk
Where you sit for days,
Until you are grabbed firmly,
You hear a giant popping sound
And you are freed from your cell.
Free to bounce around,
Or so you think.
For your freedom is but an illusion
And your fate is not for you to control.

Your bounces are timed
Between painfully slamming rackets
Bent on destroying you.
The only reprieve comes when you
Hit the gentle net and drop weakly to the ground.
And in the end, when your nerves are deadened,
And you are too exhausted to move,
They collect you and your brethren,
And put you back in your confining quarters.

The ritual repeats itself, and again,
But at the end of one day,
You know it is the end.
You can hardly move, and you know that rest
Won't do the trick.
You are freed from your merciless agonies,
But not altogether freed.

A hunkering menacing slobbering creature
Approaches and takes you in its mouth,
Drenching you in its nasty fluids.
It runs and stops and drops you,
You are picked up and hurtled through the yard,
Bounce twice and then roll,
And when you have hardly stopped moving,
The creature returns so you can relive
The horror repeatedly.

Why, you ask, is this the way the ball bounces?

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