The end zones are a brilliant blue,
not a sky blue or a sea blue —
a synthetic blue,
the blue of paint and plastic.
The lines are perfect, ruler straight,
ramrod straight, each number,
every hashmark exactly perfect.
They call it synthetic now instead of artificial.
The logic behind it is flawless:
no watering needed, long lifespan,
no fertilizer, completely recyclable,
the infill an ideal use for old tires.
The crowd of parents and family enthusiastic as ever, the athletes
as competitive, the victor as proud,
the defeated as disappointed.
There is no smell, no desire to breathe
in nature. The fibers of grass have the feel
of a six-pack holder, ground-up rubber
does not crumble when rubbed in your hands.
It is a perfect day: sunny,
a cool breeze, scattered wisps
of clouds overhead,
an imitation of earth underfoot.