Dear Basketball player

Today I heard it,
the world whispered your name,
a word often chanted
between the seconds
of a clock counting down
to the end of a game,
and I remembered
that those seconds
are always ticking
behind our moments
most mundane.

The final buzzer sounds
and we gaze up
to see the tallied score,
who won, who lost,
who gets to be the MVP,
but no one is counting
the statistics
of the ordinary,
the hours marked
between the bed
and the morning coffee,
the minutiae
and solemnity
of lives just outside
the noise of a crowd
cheering for celebrity
like cicadas awakened
by dusk.

It’s dusk now,
and what is left behind?
A legacy of success,
the crowd’s waning hiss,
strange faces reflected
in statues cast from gold,
a woman
with bruises on her neck
and her blood on your clothes,
and a story of mistakes
ignoring the word "no,"
but somewhere a truth
feels illusive
never quite told,
and isn’t that the essence
of reflected light,
when it’s gone
the secrets kept hidden
remain in their shadows,
becoming mere silhouettes,
background shapes
among the landscapes
of patchwork hills
we call our memory.

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Written by

Provocative truth teller, author of 14 poetry collections. Cat dad. Dog dad. Currently working from Portland, Oregon. Learn more at:

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