Tennis without a Net
I grab my cap and jacket
and my bent and dented racket.
My friends are waiting for me in the street.
There’s Debbie, Dean, and Dennis,
and they want a game of tennis.
There’s nothing else so wonderful and sweet!
We haven’t got a worry
as we scamper and we scurry
and smack that fuzzy tennis ball about.
Oh, life is simply splendid,
but the fun is quickly ended
the moment when Annette gives us a shout.
She points at Dean and Dennis.
“There are rules for playing tennis!
I’ll teach you how to really play the sport.”
She grumbles and she hollers
as she grabs us by the collars
and drags us to a proper tennis court.
She tells us about scoring
which I think is rather boring
and all the other rules to not forget.
We listen and we practice,
but the overwhelming fact is
this game’s a lot more fun without Annette.
— Eric Ode
Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved. From And the Crowd Goes Wild!: A Global Gathering of Sports Poems. FriesenPress. Reprinted by permission of the author.
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About this Poem
I remember taking tennis lessons one summer when I was young. It was probably through a city parks and recreation department. I’ve never been a particularly talented athlete, and I was certainly no better at tennis than I was at any other sport. And so the idea of just smacking a ball back and forth in the middle of the street without worrying about rules and score keeping sounds so much better to me than playing “real” tennis on a “real” court.
From And the Crowd Goes Wild!: A Global Gathering of Sports Poems
From rock climbing to lacrosse, tennis to ping-pong, and swimming to soccer, this unique anthology pays joyous tribute to a wide spectrum of sports. Fifty poets, representing 10 countries, share a mix of thoughtful and humorous perspectives on all aspects of athletics. A potpourri of poetry styles pay tribute to an athlete’s determination, agony, and exhilaration, celebrate the spirit of spunk and fair play, and more. Award-winning Canadian author-illustrator Kevin Sylvester lends energy to the poems with exuberant pen-and-ink drawings. Here’s a book that’s sure to be a slam dunk for readers ages 8 – 12.