Thursday, July 18, 2019

Tennis Poetry, Wimbledon 2019

Hi. I am tennis writer Chris Oddo. I am here to write a Wimbledon poem.

Wish me luck.

[Begin Tennis Poetry]

Wimbledon 2019

Every year I get down on my knees
and snap a grass selfie
it's usually like the Saturday before the Championships
dreaming of all the possibilities
this is where they all came
this is tennis Mecca
this is where McEnroe qualified and made the semis
where white catsuit maxed out
where Ashe smoked Connors like a rusted cigar
where viking god Borg came after pillaging Roland Garros
where the Williams ran roughshod,
superwomen, avengers, skyscrapers among duplexes.

Every year I see the light as it fades,
contemplate the absurdity of tennis on grass,
the sound of a bounce y'all
the sound
of a bounce...

Every year I flip through the compendium for an arcane fact about a Wimbledon that was,
a bridge connects me to another time, way back before the bombs,
and I get closer to what tennis really is at its essence.

How it's a literary sport,
a sport for thinkers,
lovers of nuance and embracers of the slow creep of the ivy that climbs the Centre Court walls,
how everybody thinks you're cool that you're there
or is that just you thinking you're cool and projecting it on them?

And every year I marvel at the visuals.
If those vivid livid green carpets could tell stories they'd tell you who was hard on them.
They'd tell you who smashed what stick on what baseline and who spat at the ground when the forehand lost its range.
They'd tell you of years full of tears,
of flying ants of happenstance.

It doesn't even matter who wins.
Or how much sleep I get.
Or if it rained
or if it shined.

Just as long as time stood still--and it always does.

[End Tennis Poetry]

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