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Sample Poems by Roger Sedarat

Upon the Weekend Warrior Taking the Game Entirely too Seriously

Ashamed, I must admit that tennis is
My life in middle age, though I'm not good
(I rarely follow through the way I should).
Before I play, that guy from Genesis
Inspires my stupid chores around the house.
While listening to "In the Air Tonight"
I step out into blinding grand slam light
And wave to all the center court applause.
But in reality I face the fear
Of dinking soft returns without much spin,
Dressed like a pro with brand new Wilson gear,
As if I didn't just learn this last year,
The basic backhand. Balls I hit loop in
So weak, even imagined fans don't cheer.

The Older Gregarious Italian who Always Seems to Win

Most players wouldn't play with him again.
He talks through games, and he's so passionate
His strong accent connects to every hit:
"I shoot'a 'da skeet. You know...clay pigeon!"
(He fires a forehand winner down the line).
"Next week I take 'a you to the Catskills.
(He comes to net). "You have a gun?" (And kills
My soft return). "If not you use'a mine."
(When he attacks an overhead): "Let's a'
Suppose that ball, it was 'a 'da' target:
You take 'a the aim with my Beretta
And "Bang!" (the ball shoots by like a bullet).
"So I win 'da first and second set a.'
Do we play best a' five a'? I forget..."

That ball was in...

"No, just long."
"No, you're wrong."

"That's not fair!
I was there

On top of it
And didn't hit."

"Well, you should,
'Cause it was good."

"I made the call.
It's fifteen-all."

"Think you mean

"God sees all.
He knows the ball

Wasn't in.
It's a sin

To say you know
When you don't."

"That's not fair.
It's out I swear."

"You're so wrong.
That ball was long."

Injury Report

German's out with a sprained elbow
And Daniel broke a rib.
Wes says his foot hurts, but I know
That he's been known to fib.

Bill M's a proven warrior,
I've seen him serve through pain
That paralyzed his right shoulder
And not even complain.

I saw an orthopedist
For some old knee troubles.
"You're old," he said, and I got pissed.
He told me to play doubles.

By far my greatest injury
The only time I've cried
(On my way home; No one could see)
Was over my hurt pride.

Professional Regret

"I wish I would have been a tennis pro,"
My friend Paul tells me when we're hitting balls.
"In mid-life crisis now, some things I know
I wish I would have been. A tennis pro
Lives on his past at country clubs as coach."
With no retirement plan, I covet Paul's.
"I wish I would have been a tennis pro,"
I tell my friend as we keep hitting balls.

The Tennis Parents

The tennis parents offer their young kids
Up to the sport: self-centered sacrifice
In service of their grand slam hopes and dreams.

Shrinks use the "superego vs. id"
As model to umpire and analyze
The tennis parents offer: their young kids'

Will sublimated into overheads
And backhands/forehands forced inside the lines
(In service of their grand slam hopes). And dreams

Reveal years later damage that they did.
(In therapy they have to pay the price).
The tennis parents offered their young kids

Brings hard returns they never expected
As they hold their own rackets with surprise
In service of their grand slam hopes and dreams.

Life as a zero sum game, frustrated
Adulthood without play becomes the prize
The tennis parents offer their young kids
In service of their grand slam hopes and dreams.