I never understood the draw
of seeing a giant ball of twine
yet it has defined this town.
Still brings in the curious
to stare and have their picture taken
with its massive, misshapen form.
They laugh and think themselves unique
to pose with hands upon this string
as if they could push it from its shelter
and send it rolling on towards Denver
where years ago (I was in high school),
we were told it could reach.
Once some bastard set the ball on fire.
Townsfolk called for blood but the case
was never solved although the sheriff
was said to know the out of town culprit,
but feared for the kid’s life.
The ball was patched and covered up
and life went on and folks calmed down
but a feud later erupted when news reached us
that in a place called Darwin, there was
a bigger twine ball. The sacred book of records
honored us at first, but once the other ball
was measured, we came in second.
So the Twine-a-Thons began
to add size to our famous ball
until we won back the record
and the signs could again read,
“World’s Largest Ball of Twine”
without including the shameful “One of The…“
I showed up at the first few Twine-a-Thons
more an excuse to drink beer.
There are those who come out
to pay homage to this ball
that has brought the town fame,
but not fortune, as you can see.
Even add some twine if you need
to feel a kinship to the locals and
this twine god but don’t look to do much
shopping as the stores are mostly closed,
or torn down after standing empty
near the great and wondrous ball
which I never understood.
— Lee Mick
Lee Mick was raised in Mitchell County, a third generation Kansan, living in Cawker City. He married his wife Denelle in 1978, and is the father of two grown children, Travis and Shawna, and Grandpa to one, so far, little Johnathan. His poetry also appears in the Kansas Authors Club anthology Tallgrass Voices published by Hillsong Press.