Bridgeport, CT [from Vanishing Tracks]
On an empty court surrounded by empty lots
A man is dribbling a basketball. He stands
Around the three point line, jukes and feints
Away from an invisible defender, pulls up to
Shoot, changes his mind, dribbles again and
Steps to his left, maybe being doubled up
At this point though I can’t see anyone there,
And no one is around to see him pick up
His dribble yet again, no whistle blows, so he dances a
Little closer, the ball back over his head like a stone
In a medieval catapult. There is nothing between him
And the basket. He pauses, and dribbles again.
I crane my neck to watch him negotiate all that emptiness
As the train rounds a bend. He is still dribbling,
He will never find his shot.
Note: Another poem from the series “Markers,” a set of poems written on a train trip from Virginia to New England and back.