By David Yezzi

Featured Image: Pink Roses by Fidelia Bridges, 1875
Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

Across the net,
she wilts and falls
behind, so I let
a few balls

slide by
in the midgy air
and drawn sky
of late summer.

Is this
letting her win
a Judas kiss,
the warm sin

of fooling too
far a daughter
slow to laughter,

stakes all in all
on a game?
She’s tall.
I call her name,

to snap her
back from the place
she goes, blur-
ring the odds: ace,

game, set.
Her stride returns,
as I abet
her. She learns

no lesson, nor
do I hint
at helping. After,
we sprint

on the road
home, our run
hung with gold
silk spun

by spiders in
patchy pines.
The threads glint
in sidewise lines,

cinches borne
by the air,
so loosely worn
they’re hardly there.

David Yezzi’s latest books of poetry are Birds of the Air and Black Sea (both in the Carnegie Mellon Poets Series). He teaches in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins and edits The Hopkins Review.

Originally appeared in NOR 17

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