: Tennis in the Snow :

by Mary Jo Salter

 

You looked up from your book, and apropos
of nothing, asked: Did I ever tell you
I played tennis once in the snow?

No, I said. You didn't. Where was this?

Tennis in the snow! you said again.
It was … in Colorado. No, in Kansas.
I was a young captain.

Did you win?

I don't know. I'd play this guy at the base.
Marty. I can see us laughing,
slipping and sliding all over the place.

Were tennis balls still white back then?

(A smile from you.) No, they were yellow
already. It was the early eighties.
It wasn't all that long ago.

*

Oh, I said. That's a shame.
I'm picturing the big white flakes
whirling around, and part of the game

is that you guys could hardly tell
the difference between falling snow
and the big white fuzzy tennis ball

or even the full moon that would seem
to lob over the net that night,
like a movie or in a dream.

It was daytime, you said. Nice story, though.

Sorry, I said. I should leave it there.
I just wanted to be mixed up in it,
the place where your memories are.