Visiting home with sons
on a June day minced and
served in October, I find, in with
a couple of graphite racquets,
a wooden Oradell.
It's light as down and looks
like an egret chick. I'm not quick
but have a backhand and send
the shuttlecock high. The boys
shriek and argue and aim through
the shuttlecock like it's a swarm
of bees. The afternoon light is
a mirror bounce, the leaves are
yellow and fall in a rustle under
the game's pop and whoosh.
I can angle the feather and cork shuttlecock
into the leaves, and the boys reel and flail
through the falling batting.
They are beating the quilt while it's sewn:
it's a soft curious thing.