Today I’m playing basketball again.

Or rather

I keep throwing the battered soccer ball,

left behind by two kids

of the family who moved out and on,

to the net-less hoop they had set up the pine tree

while the dog looks on


Every sixth attempt goes in, or so.

It’s been a while.

Bestia is the only witness to this phenomenon.

Tall slim pine trees are looking down on me.

Overweight middle-aged woman

trying to score.

Bestia’s Buddy moved out with the family.

He left a bone in the grass for his friend.

Bestia found it and wouldn’t budge, his teeth clenched around it.

His eyes were wild and the message was clear:

“AS IF you want it for yourself.

You’d throw it away!”

But that was before I found the ball

and the old wish stirred at every basket made.

It was pre-kissing



I played with the boys after school,

a rare girl.

It might be because the ball was mine.

Of course, that was it!

And I’ve thought all this time he liked me.

Yet it was nothing sweeter than scoring a 3-pointer

that wasn’t invented yet

over his defending body.

I know, he was not guarding me as he would another boy.

I wonder how much longer girls will be counting on it.

Still there was something in his eyes

when my ball went in

and it was his fault.

And it went in a lot.

In a way it went in even before it left my hands.

I instilled it with the mission and let it fly.

Now I see them make a shot and turn their backs to the basket

with a hand behind the ear waiting for the ball to pop in.

It was like that.

And now there are pine trees and grass beneath my feet

and a ball that doesn’t bounce

and no one to pass it to

but the dog.

I stop the count at 7:0. Tomorrow I’ll go for 10.

I take the coat and scarf that I’ve left on the ground,

I take the dog

and we walk home.

Da hoop.

10 thoughts on “Basketball

  1. I loved your reminiscence, mostly because it was sweet and beautiful, and maybe a little bit because I saw myself, too, in that younger girl who played sports with the boys!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked this a lot. Growing up here, in my state, basketball is a really big deal. At school, foursquare was a game played by girls in dresses and bows. At home, we put on our play clothes to play basketball with the boys. This lasted until probably age 12 or 13.

    Liked by 1 person

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