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Basketball Days

by eric colburn

The bonk of ball on backboard brings me back

to backyard basketball: the quirky bounce

root-rippled pavement could produce, rebounds

from boards we bolted to a metal rack

fixed to the maple tree whose roots had cracked

the tarmac. Branches sent balls out of bounds;

leaf-crown provided shade for all our shouts

And shots and shifty moves behind the back.

So many shimmy-shakes and bug-eyed fakes!

That’s where I learned the no-look pass, first took

A lefty hook, and made a million frees.

Now, living by a court, for old times’ sake

I often sit outside, ignore my book,

And listen to the ball sounds through the trees.


Image by Bree Anne
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