The Ball’s in your Court [poem]

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What’s that? You said.
(you must have heard a funny little noise).
It’s a ball, I replied.
Doing what? You sighed (exasperatedly).
Just bouncing on your own side of the court,
said I, (but not beratingly).
But why? You intoned. Is there something
I’m supposed to do?
I scratched my head awhile
(for in my game I have no place for patent guile)

then said these words:
I know you like to play such games and tennis
seemed a perfect choice for you to make.
But when the ball comes snaking through the air
in your direction you’re supposed to hoist your arm
and take a swing — the very opposite of laissez-faire
(which weirdly seems to be your nonely interactive thing).
For tennis is not solitaire!

It may be a surprise to you but it’s like this:
You really have to be there for the other player
not just stand around while gawping at the net.
Sometimes when playing with another soul
you’ll find you’re working up a proper sweat.
Though if you still insist on being rooted to the spot
and failing to give of yourself with everything you’ve got
(despite the fact the other one has given all he has)
you’ll never know the perspiration beauty of the game
which you profess to so enjoy (though now I question
if this claim was just another empty ploy).

As I survey (I note this day by day) the way you cannot
see the one with whom you play (nor return the hopeful
ball which he has sent your way), you are not worthy
of this noble sport which you purported to enjoy
when we arranged to play this match (I’m just a boy!).
One final point to note:
The ball I sent is bouncing round behind you.
I’ll leave the court and wait for your next shot;
but if it never comes, I will not go to find you.

© 2012, Alan Morrison

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