FOR MARIA SHARAPOVA
Harder, harder, harder — slam the ball
Down through the claws of those opposing hands.
The prince and duchess, present in the stands,
Will soon invite you into Anmer Hall.
They recognize — the winner takes it all.
Theirs is a court where one no more commands
The people, nor may conquer foreign lands
And nothing comes of muscle, nerve, and gall.
But yours! — yours is a kingdom, fingers curled
Around a scepter posing as a racquet,
The clay a rich, red carpet at your heel.
And you are our catharsis in a world
Which slips us in a fitted sideline jacket
To meet restraint, regardless how we feel.