1. Hoop Dreams
Come on, Granddaddy, he calls, age seven,
Dribbling the ball on the deck,
Play some D.
Shoulders that have seen better days
Struggle to get hands up on defense.
I no longer conspire to let him win.
He breezes by for a lay-up,
A moment I want to think
He will recall when his sons and grandsons,
Also North Carolina boys,
Begin to bounce a ball.
2. Playoff Game
Philip plays in the late game tonight.
We climb the stairs to the gym
Against the flow of those leaving,
Parents who had cheered earnestly
Or graded papers,
Half of them happy, half not,
An index, an approval rating
Of life at a given moment
Higher than some, I guess.
An hour later we emerge
Wearing our gladness,
A day to be seized,
Friday they play against a higher seed.
3. Hoops Haiku
Waiting for the game:
College kids with new cell ’phones:
Lanterns in the dusk.
“Hoop Dreams” appeared as part of “November Songs” in Homestead Review, Spring-Summer 2008; “Hoops Haiku” appeared in Aethlon, Spring 2007.