Petanque - BoomBoomBetty & PotShotPointer
by Nicky Goodman
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.
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The old folk play boules/petanque here on courts by the rocks at the beach - serene? Hardly - they don't mess about -
Petanque - BoomBoom Betty & PotShot Pointer
Boom Boom Betty, 88; stops the game,
Raises one wet finger, still; checks the wind,
Tips her hat, grins; swings her string
and picks up her hot golden ball on
a dangling silver magnet; walks, limps
a bit, reins in the distance down the court,
steps into the loop, crouches, aims, and
Boom!!! Boom Boom Betty fires her
Shot: "Tirez!" cheers the crowd, busy,
"Bravo Betty!" the spectators sport
As a galaxy of balls circling the Jack,
Split, knocking the little wooden Cochinnet
Into the pit. Snags a shell, hopscotches
The scorched path, yells, plops over
The cliff, and hits the shock of ice-cold sea.
"What a shot!" says the Cochinnet, stunned,
"What a blast" says the Crowd; all sound,
"What a shooter" frowns the Cochinnet;
Winks, drinks tea in the underwater gallery,
Drowns. Takes a deep breath, rebounds,
Impasse: The Game On the Ground.
All still, last shot, Pot Shot Pointer goes for
The roll; stands, tennis before the serve,
In a circle chalked; the boardwalks hush.
12 All - match point stuff - poised... All
Surveyed, the game played, Pot Shot stands,
Quiet and dazed; eyes trance, last chance,
To the left or to the right? Avoid the bounce,
Trip the hum of the restless crowd; Quiet
Now. Head bowed. No sound. Prays.
The middle way. Hush; come to my arms
"Two cheese and pickle and a cup of tea,
Please," Pot Shot Pointer gets the roll, tea
Hot, hears the news, hears the shots. Loud.
The Crowd Falls. And from the Speaker:
"Pick up your belongings from the Lost and
Found." Impasse: The Game on the Ground.