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POETRY SPECIAL THE 1982 AWP ANNIVERSARY AWARD WINNERS The following poems were selected by Cynthia Macdonald, Heather McHugh, James Tate, Darà Wier, and Paul Zimmer as judges for the Associated Writing Programs who awarded a First Prize of $1500 and additional prizes of $150 to each of the winning finalists. AFTER THE SPLENDID DISPLAY / Don Bogen What sport shall we devise here in this garden To drive away the heavy thought of care? After the splendid display at the rajah's parade grounds— the horse marines so dashing, the band and guard, those delightful decorated elephants—we strolled out under parasols to the yard, each on an officer's arm, to attend the match. White tables, boys bringing pitchers of quinine water—the heat, you understand—sliced limes and gin for the gentlemen. The countess wore that diamond brooch I must admit I envied. In the interval one of the players approached me. I thought it odd to see such a handsome young lieutenant in white Indian cotton. He will meet Papa. Oh, my dearest friend, I can scarcely explain to myself the secret flights of my heart since our arrival, its springs and turns,—it is a very tennis-ball. Tennis anyone? Todd always had been something of a fool. Not one of us. That ridiculous Bentley, his diamond tiepin, that "class of ought-nine" camaraderie just would not do. On the courts, of course, he sported the finest whites, and the ducks he put on after his lengthy showers fairly dazzled. But he couldn't hit the ball. And he didn't hit it off well with the ladies either, always getting left behind in clubs where the gin tasted like sen-sen and the band was flat. The Missouri Review · 65 Tom, now Tom was a regular guy, really white. We'd start with a couple of feelers down at Tom's place. There was old Tom, boiled to the eyes, blind, swinging a bottle of fizz by the neck. Tennis anyone? Oh, could he kid, and he could make the girls squeal. He knew all the best uptown clubs and once cadged a reefer from the drummer at the Lenox Hotel. The women are playing for cigarettes on TV. We have the best seats, with a three-foot eye sharper than the lineman's, our eight-packs, Cheez-its, and instant replay. In the back the spectators are melting as we watch— they envy us, I bet, more with each stretch and uncomfortable wriggle, each blow of blind sun from the racket handles. Now one of the cameras picks up the server: the sweet blonde underdog. It is the serve she has to make. Cut to shot of worried young face. A slow pan up the legs, the gemmed garter of sweat on each tanned thigh, then rise with the ball and body rising into its poise and that perfect swing that lets everyone see she's come a long way baby. Vanderbilt University, 1978. Davis Cup: United States vs. South Africa The winners are always the ones with the best strokes. It is obvious in the pool or in bed or on the trimmed lawns and lined clay of a place like Nashville. But consider other strokes: the gem cutter splitting money from a stone, the camera's caress, the way 66 ¦ The Missouri Review Don Bogen a deft hand gripping the blade can write a name in flesh, a stroke of luck, stroke of the winner coming down on the white ball, stroke of the whip, and pick stroke, the black hand plucking diamonds from the mine. Don Bogen The Missouri Review · 67 ...


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