Tensions run high and adrenaline
forces them to think about the game in abstract
black and white images.
Like five man jazz trios
the point guard marks time with the beat
of the ball pounding the floor.
In the locker room, headphones
crack with hip-hop, rock
or whatever removes the butterflies.
Coach begins to speak,
Gametime, strategy, trap here,
zone, match up, fill the lanes,
offense wins games, defense
Tip off begins with two players like rockets
battling for airtime trying to reach a planet.
Squeaks on polished wooden floors,
grunts and sounds of struggle and then
Crossover makes the crowd go ahh,
but no follow through leaves the team
Horns blare and coaches, some silent,
some screaming directions to the floor.
Bench players waiting in anticipation, look towards
coach for playing time.
Coach makes adjustments and players listen.
Coach speaks of struggle, reminds...
this is just a game. Play your best.
Passes are crisp and jumpshots are released
at the pinnacle of elevation.
Full court press elevates the pace,
intelligence slows the pace and forces
The kids stand, move, shift
like children in front of fire hydrants spilling water,
jerseys soaked, brows wet,
eyes still focused on the clock.
The game ends
Heads held high, one team high fives,
the other listens as coach speaks of pride.
Another game to play right now,
another time to get things right.
Keep your heads up, this is only game,
but it prepares you for so much more.
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