Ted Kooser

Croquet Ball

From At Home Poems. The Comstock Writers Group, 2016.

It has rolled to a stop along one wall
of the dim garage, rolled in through the wicket
of the overhead door, the last sharp clack
of a mallet so far behind it now that only
the imagination can hear it, clacking in over
the clipped, imagined grass. Its pale green stripe—
the green of the handles on old kitchen spoons—
is even paler now, under a whisper of dust,
and the wood has cracked along the grain
so that the cracks go round and round it
like rings on a planet. And perhaps it is
a planet, and not even one of the lesser ones
but something worth our full attention,
and I, while passing through this life,
wheeling my lawnmower into the shadows,
have been the first to see it waiting there.

Poem copyright Ted Kooser, used here with permission.