or, of the high school athletes who preferred form to free verse
The players love the net. They raise it high
Like heraldry in the gymnasium,
Unfurl it edge to edge, a standard set,
A boundary for their bounding, bruising play.
A battle line drawn firmly in the earth,
The net expects a leap and a long reach;
The players reverently touch its stern face
At every spike; it flutters, unperturbed.
The net conducts their dance. The back-and-forth,
The contra and the canter to the line,
The gentle set and death-defying dive,
The meeting, parting, serving, sprinting. Then
After the game, they show me all their wounds.
No glory, they say, if not for the net.
Editor’s Note: This sonnet’s direct comparison (via the title) of poetry with a sport juxtaposes two things that don’t often go together, with delightful results.