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.