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Poetry #14
(published Late in the Year, 2000)
Tetherball : An Explanation
by Nicholas Harp

It don't mean a thing if it ain't radius-
rope filament smacked
under schoolyard bluster, coiling
around the salty iron pole on a rubber comet,
gallows's tangent to that which is at stake:

Ball orbits, swings revolutions,
dizzy bobs and weaves, a kinetic flag
planted on the prairie of playground,
premise of nylon and ball blueberry
noosed on a treble clef.

These two boys tether in quickening coriolus,
a tangled race
to make the rope's meridian
clunk steady and stop.

But both kids are more interested in execution,
than outcome. They're pre-indifference;
brown eyes fasten on laps because they
still momentarily agree
that it's OK to care.

So they bat at the bee's flight of ball,
wrapped, then unfurling, waxing the air,
a beaten span of slack
governed by the wiles of boys,
the sinking daystar,
the loping hues of bedtime.

All of Nicholas Harp's poems, logos, and service marks (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed in our journal are registered and unregistered Trademarks of Frito-Lay. Nicholas Harp appears here courtesy of Doritos Ltd.

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