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Michael J. Petrillo

Robert Kehew

(A Splinter of the True Cross)

Pitt painted golf balls. He dipped the cheap paint brush
and worked up Raiders’ helmets and Snoopies
in bright acrylic. He daubed Planet Earth
and the yin-yang. (I have one in a drawer.)

He once set out to commemorate the knights –
all of the knights – from Arthur’s Camelot
on separate spheres. “After all,” he explained,
“the Table sat one hundred – we know ten.”

Perhaps the Pittster saw himself as one
of the unknown ones, not saga-ready,
avoiding the Siege Perilous, poking fun
at Gawain with his mouth full of mutton.

And since the suburban plan did not allow
for gentilesse or jousts or linked armor,
he settled for shorter quests to the golf green
for those white spheres on which he could expend

his talent, reach for merit and glory…
impress a fair maiden? Why did Pitt paint
golf balls? He did it because he couldn’t carve
King Arthur’s table out of Brittany oak.

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