Wednesday, January 19, 2011

PTSW: Foul Shot

With nieces and nephews and students and former students and children of friends dribbling and passing and shooting, urging the big sphere through the netted hoop, I suppose it's time to trot out this moment captured by Edwin Hoey. It is taken that little text I taught from in 1970. If you want to reach a reader, push or pull or coax, lofting those verbs, nudging them to teeter and tremble and tumble into the world...

 Foul Shot 
With two 60’s on the scoreboard

And two seconds hanging on the clock,
The solemn boy in the center of eyes,
Squeezed by silence,
Seeks out the line with his feet
Soothes his hands along his uniform
Gently drums the ball against the floor,
Then measures the waiting net,
Raises the ball on his right hand,
Balances it with his left
Calms it with fingertips,
And then through a stretching of stillness,
Nudges it upward.

The ball

Slides up and out,
Plays it coy
Until every face begs with unsounding screams—

            And then
                                    And then
                                                            And then,
Right before ROAR-UP,

Dives down and through.

by Edwin Hoey

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