Landscape with Figures by Sarah Quigley


Landscape with Figures
by Benjamin Morris

From the window only half the field
      is visible at once, and on it 
only half the reds or the light blues
      flecked at times with a black, 
both teams scuttling back and forth
      like a sea creature dancing in sand 
and deepest light. And when they lob the ball
      from one end of the green to another, 
it comes sailing back into view as a moon
      knocked cruelly out of its orbit 
yet still luminous in its flight,
      bathed by the evening sun 
slipping out of its gown of cloud.
      Looking down there now, 
as all the players have vanished
      to the far, unspoken end, 
feet and breath clashing invisibly
      for control, I wonder whether 
the soil and thick grass in the middle
      can still feel their rough argument, 
or if by now it is only a memory—
      a rain of dark hooves, 
the violence done by gravity, the wordless
      tug of loss in the middle of the night.