tennis at night

quite tennis field during nighttime
Photo by Tomas Andreopoulos on

I watch them from the warmth, their matchstick bodies

Thrown across the court, underneath the light,

Bright and white, unwavering. Their breath

Hangs in icy clouds as groans erupt from lungs

That long for wins in quiet pockets of the night.

They play to knock the wrongs, the awful shit

That rattles round their heads, they long for peace

And echoes of that devil ball, hitting racket, hitting court,

Becomes a meditation on the frosty day, as night

Begins to settle and the floodlights mark their world.

Outside their court their demons dance

In darkness, clawing at the fence of wire

In the knowledge that their prey is there, ready

For that moment when the game is won

And bags are packed, a silent walk with heads

Bowed low, in prayer. In contemplation they will leave

And sit in cars, windows fogged from deepest breaths.

A moment taken, quietness is needed

As the court lights dip and music plays

To end the show, the tennis was but secondary

In this battle late at night. And that is why

They play this hour as I stare, wishing that

I had an outlet just like that, to while away

Those lonely hours after darkness falls.