At the Edge of the Soccer Complex, Lynchburg, Virginia
Versions of a corner. Red flag sticking out of the earth
where painted lines on the grass meet. Past it
chest-high chain link fences knot into a right angle
before the ground drops twenty feet down
a scrabbly bank on which lines cannot be drawn.
Past the parked cars an uneven stand of poplar and pine
waving like a tired family. Are they greeting us
or waiting for us to drive out of sight?
Then the foothills
where our preferences end.
How is it that mountains always seem to appear
by surprise? or a big word gathering quietly
in our ear, a thing without corners
growing inside a thing without corners,
a soccer ball knocking over a styrofoam cup of coffee
in the way a day may be suddenly knocked on its side
by a force that seems utterly foreign to it.
Crouching to save what’s left
I see the soccer field lines
as cave drawings of wordless heights fallen
on their sides and flattened, flag pinned to the top.