The children have left the red ball
disintegrating in the backyard.
Half-gone, it’s a dimpled dome
for dead grass, brittle and yellow—
Even the cows would pass if it were offered them.
Below the grass, root networks, weeds-
in-waiting. Below that, more dirt, rock, clay.
Everything needs to rest, needs to die.
It’s terrible having to go on
knowing what happens here,
the red ball becoming
less and less itself, less red, not a ball
at all (not at all a ball) just junk, likely
an embarrassment to whoever’s
yard this is. Why haven’t they picked up the ball?
[written into the form of “The Snow Man” by Wallace Stevens]