TARYN KAYE – (tennis)

I had her at match point, ad out.
One more point and I would defeat
“The Princess,” the undisputed royal,
the reigning ruler of our high school tennis team,
who condescended to hit with me
in our last scrimmage before the season’s start.
She had been fooling around, spraying her shots,
before realizing she could actually lose
to a nervous freshman just trying to make the team.
She served to my backhand; I went for the winner.
The ball clearly clipped the line.
I yelled and jogged to the net for the handshake.
“Out!” she called.
“What?” I said.
“The ball was wide. Deuce.”
I was too intimidated to argue, too upset to play well.
In short order, I lost the game, the set, the match.
She shook my hand – it felt like a wet fish,
and said, not even looking at me, “Nice, game,”
the Queen of the Court dismissing her peasant subject.
I fled her realm the following week,
joined the volleyball team instead,
my honor, my pride partially restored.