lenten journal: hoop dreams


hoop dreams

I’ve spent the last two weekends
following a sport I cannot play
watching men and women spin
and shoot with an ease I have
never known inside my skin

my basketball career began
and ended in church leagues
sixth grade I was benchwarmer
an uninitiated American kid
from Africa who didn’t know

that you had to check in at
the scorer’s table to sub so
I just ran out on the court
and the ref and my coach
put me back on the bench

until the last two minutes
when coach sent me to the
scorer because we were so
far ahead that I was harmless
I would not be remembered

it took less than the time left
for me to do what no one
else on the team had done
I fouled out in record time
and went home with a story

In a week two teams will cut
down the nets as champions
after a season of struggle but
it only took one night when
I brought down the house


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