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Racket, a poem by Amy Ash




The neighbors all look like former tennis pros.

Starched smile and silence, they eye each other 

through the cage of the lattice. Low-clipped grass, 

they stomp on silhouettes, designer dogs

on leashes hanging from their hands like racquets. 

The streetlights are little suns volleyed into the air.  

Houses built into hills on the cul-de-sac, the neighborhood

is a stadium of sadness. Bay windows become box seats. 

Drill, drop shot, slice chip. His strong backhand slices at her. 

The crowd turns their heads away in unison.  

I’m the little girl crouched down 

in the shadow of the net. 

Amy Ash
is the author of the full-length collection of poetry The Open Mouth of the Vase, winner of the Cider Press Review Book Award and the Etching Press Whirling Prize. Her poetry, creative nonfiction, and collaborative writing have been published in various journals and anthologies. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Indiana State University, where she directs the Creative Writing Program.