By Timothy Steele
The basketball you walk around the court
Produces a hard, stinging, clean report.
You pause and crouch and, after feinting, swoop
Around a ghost defender to the hoop
And rise and lay the ball in off the board.
Solitude, plainly, is its own reward.
The game that you’ve conceived engrosses you.
The ball rolls off; you chase it down, renew
The dribble to the level of your waist.
Insuring that a sneaker’s tightly laced,
You kneel—then, up again, weave easily
Through obstacles that you alone can see.
And so I drop the hands I’d just now cupped
To call you home. Why should I interrupt?
Can I be sure that dinner’s ready yet?
A jumpshot settles, snapping, through the net;
The backboard’s stanchion keeps the ball in play,
Returning it to you on the ricochet.