Tuesday, September 14, 2021



After school I’d race home from the bus

Chuck my bag in the foyer and change.

Harass the ol' sisters a bit, grab a snack

And then I’d grab my old leather basketball,

One of the panels worn down 

To black rubber, and start to shoot.  

I’d shoot as long as I could,

Self retrieving shot after shot

Until mom came home and had to nap,

Until it became an effortless knowingness

The moment it left my chapped fingertips

Back-spinning through gray October sky

Cresting the front rim and cradling

For an instantaneous moment 

In a swaddle of stiff nylon before 

That sudden reverse churning deceleration

That snapped and echoed out as a whip-like swish

Of reproducible absolute attainment. 

That’s the best damn sound in the world, I tell my boy.

No it isn’t, he says.

Well, what is then?

It isn’t that Dad, he says.

He double dribbles and heaves

From his hip the way I used to.

Well you better find what is, son,

You better find out what is.


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