2016        Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award

Winner: “Tennis Practice against the Garage Door"
by Midge Goldberg
Final Judge: Rachel Hadas

Tennis Practice against the Garage Door


“Impossible to win against the wall,”
my son mutters. I hear the bounce and slam
as he goes on hitting the tennis ball,
its arc and dip and arc a sonogram
of will. The wall returns one down the line
straight back at him, or else, in wall-like folly,
ricochets one off its beveled design—
it’s out of bounds, and so he wins that volley.
Battling for the point that wins the game,
he finally calls “ad in” against the door.
Gripping the racquet, he takes careful aim.
This is the moment he’s been training for—
the beauty in tenacity and sweat,
the ace over the imaginary net.






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