Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday Night Tennis People

~Wednesday Night Tennis People~

Heading to the Green Center
to play tennis with people
older than my parents.
What a thrill to see friends
playing and serving and aging
all in the name of the little yellow ball.
Familiar faces, hugs, and welcomes 
from the permanent court people. 
Tonight I am a substitute player paired 
twice with an opposite gender partner.
“I don’t like to lose,” he tells me,“so don’t mess up.” 
I hear this every time we play together. 
Across the net the composite age 
is about 160. We are only 105. 
I assure my white, wiry-haired partner we will win.
The pop of the sound of tennis balls fills
my head for the next hour and a half. Shouts hailing
my brilliance come as often as the words
“waaaaayyyyy out,” when the ball just misses the line.
Nothing is too serious until we are down in score.
Tense serves and tennis chatter between the partners 
brings the players in the present. We win, 
because we don’t lose.
Partners change when eight people play
on two courts. The winning teams pair up 
and exchange partners while the two losing teams 
do the same. There is no shame in position with
the Wednesday Night Tennis People. All win,
because they don’t lose.
Point, Game, Set, Match. Court time over.
Off to Murry’s, the restaurant where a table
is waiting for the Tennis People to imbibe.


  1. Thank YOU! I wrote this today in about 15 minutes. It's one of my first poems in years and years and I was very nervous to post it but looking to build my courage in writing of all types. xoxo

  2. You certainly wrote a wonderful poem Annie! Tennis is one of the games that I wish I was able to play! Take care.

  3. Hello again Annie,
    I like your Blog and therefore I am happy to pass on the Blog On Fire Award to you. You can see the details on my Blog. Keep on writing great posts and my best wishes to you.

  4. Here's the tennis poem I promised to share with you. I wrote it about 10 years ago as you can tell from the players I wrote about.
    I'm playing this week with my son, Ben. I can't wait.
    xoxo Madeline

    Watching Tennis in August

    The sexy, buff girls of tennis come every August
    To play their game in Manhattan Beach
    Champions all of them
    They love the crowds
    They thrive on the electricity, the adoration of their fans
    The shouts:
    We love you Monica, Come on, Martina,
    You can do it Serena, Lindsey
    The groans over a ball slammed into the net
    The oohs and ahs during a long rally
    The cheers when a winning ball skims the line.

    They all have their own style

    Number 1, Martina Hingis, named for the great Navratilova,
    Looks delicate, graceful and aloof out there,
    Always with a wide, toothy smile
    Hair smoothed back just so
    Has a shrewd strategy
    That out lasts most of her opponents

    Now sleek sans 30 pounds,
    Lindsey Davenport, the nice girl on the tour
    Looking tall and gangly and awkward
    Fools us with her
    Killer serve, hard, fast, flat ground strokes and a bullet volley
    That almost no one can return

    Monica Seles, the come back kid.
    Is the ultimate professional
    So poised, so focused with her eyes
    Always on her racket
    Fingers plucking at the strings
    Until it’s time to make one of her perfect angle shots
    No opponent can reach

    And the youngster of the greats,
    Serena Williams, still making a fashion statement with her long
    Rodman style braids, wild-colored short dresses with shoes to match
    Struts confidently around the court,
    Wiggling her ass and jiggling her boobs
    As she gets ready for the next point
    But she is not all show
    She knows how to really rip those balls across the net
    Leaving her opponents swishing their rackets at the air.

    I sit there for one week
    Every year in August
    In my second-row box seat.
    Eyes glued to the stadium court
    Sweltering under the sun during the day
    Slathered in sun block and wearing my wide-brimmed straw hat
    While shivering beneath my lap robe during
    Night play under the lights
    I revel in the circus, this happening scene
    Taking such joy as these young, beautiful, toned, athletic girls
    In their clingy short skirts, tight tops and designer jewelry
    Hit the hell out of that little fuzzy yellow ball.

  5. Madeline, i love this poem and the last line is perhaps my favorite! great mini character sketches of these great players. We are definitely "Tennis People" every day of the week! thanks for sharing.