1. Hoop Dreams
Come on, Granddaddy, he calls, age seven,
Dribbling the ball on the deck,
Play some D.
Shoulders that have seen better days
Struggle to get hands up on defense.
I no longer conspire to let him win.
He breezes by for a lay-up,
A moment I want to think
He will recall when his sons and grandsons,
Also North Carolina boys,
Begin to bounce a ball.
2. The Bridge
To reach our house at Golden Pines
You go across a bridge,
The last bridge, my friend, age 80, calls it.
Don’t say that, I tell him,
Blood pumping, pulsing
Against skin turned to paper by the years.
For it had seemed to me,
Until not long ago, that
We might be exempt
From certain statistical probabilities
And live forever.