Who is this creature of skill and talent
just shooting hoops in the back yard?
Hours & days & years of practice, living it
so that the tools have a scent that permeates dream,
finding the dance in that chaotic rhythm
of rubber on the court, whisper of net,
slight ring of rim when the ball swishes.
The opponent’s eyes adjusting with recognition
that the moment of truth happened
a split second before he saw it.
And the silence mid arc
as the country awaits
the success of its heroes.
I was not brought up with basketball,
for me it was ministers, therapists, teachers
I was assimilating ideas such as the historical Jesus,
individuation and unconditional love when still in diapers.
And maybe this is why I know
that when the steely eyed warrior summoned the grace
to project his will into that previously empty moment,
his compatriots rallied in synergistic formation
that the gift coursing in them came from all of us.
Tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of devotees
regardless of color, creed or modus operandi
laying down our faith on the alter of
one beautiful moment.
In a very practical sense
this is what is called a miracle
Enough of us getting up every day,
walking through the regular transformations of our lives
with all the diversity of our training and beliefs
unified in a vision.
Even the rival hoping for some great thing.
Together we have brought it to fruition
fierce competitor, fan, through the lens of staff
coaches, team and an avatar reaching in to full bloom
it is done.
And that spark of creation kindled in each of us
where maybe it has been dormant for much too long
now invites direction.
— Peter A. Wright lives in Lawrence.