Iroquois Backboard Rebound Song (I)


Eric Gansworth

We finally move as
my nephew's voice usually
clogged with dirty
jokes and the dullness
of nicotine alone
fills the large gymnasium grown
smaller in our adulthood, hitting
the backboard straight on
sliding clean through
the net, stripping itself
as it falls of stock cars
and video games
and all night kegs
and even a brief flirtation
with the Armed Services
along the way
and he doesn't even see
forgetting all
of us sitting, refusing
to take up the song he has
started, smiling only
when his wife,
her shadow having reached out
covering our feet,
leather jacket
and British Knights gleaming
more brilliantly
than the scuffed expanse,
begins the traditional Women's
Shuffle alone over the free
throw line erasing the bars
of red, white, and blue
smoothly inviting us
with the ease of her
natural stride
her feet shifting
back and forth
across the urethane
rewriting history.

© 1998 Eric Gansworth

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