Ode to an Old and Very Hard Rubber Ball I Stole From My Brother Several Summers Ago

October 24, 2007
By Joyce Bohling, Lawrence, KS

My muse sings a very repetitive song
And never sings it twice
The driveway’s concrete is his bass drum that tries its best to keep the beat
The side of our house is his choir
Striking the notes of a tenor’s chord
He sings high soprano sometimes when he
Clinks against the metal gutter
And provides a jarring percussion section
Against the screen of the window
When he spins he’s on fire
His colors spin with him
Green, blue, pink, and yellow

I never hold onto him too long
He’s spent nights and months in the gutter
Been rained on and washed free of dust
His once-smooth hide now warped and rough to the touch

I always catch him
Most of the time
Excepting when the rascal decides he’s got something else in mind
Leads me off on some crazy adventure
Into piles of leaves and trashcans
Across the street
Past barking dogs
Up a ladder into the gutter
Through the grass where he lies camouflaged
In green zebra stripes
When the week has sent
One too many tests
One too many fights
Between one too many teenagers
With one too many problems
When the day has been crammed with
One too many hours
The most blustery day has a moment
A minute or two of calm
As though the world has stopped completely
And the only ones still awake are

And my simple, solitary friend

Until a new breeze blows up again
And whisks the leaves out from beneath my feet

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