T’was the day after Christmas, and all through the land, not a gym housed a game, not a player at hand.
The players were resting all snug in their beds, while visions of buzzer-beaters danced in their heads.
The coach in his sport coat, ref with his whistle, had escaped the fans jeers, all the thorns and the thistles.
When out in the driveway there arose such a clatter, I grabbed my ball and sneakers, laced up the latter.
Away to the door I flew like a flash, tore open the screen, jumped the stairs with a crash.
An Oregon winter so devoid of all snow, unlike Montana Decembers, not a flake did show.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, a group of street ballers waiting right here.
A pick-up game gathered around me so quick, I knew this moment it would do the trick.
My basketball void was filled without haste, all that old jargon had a new use and a place.
Now bounce pass, now rebound, now shot clock, now dish! On slam dunk, on jump ball, on box out, on swish!
To the edge of the rim, to the the top of the board, knock it down, shoot it out, this game can’t be ignored.
As dry leaves left over from fall did twirl, around the iron the ball did swirl.
But what’s this? A foul there was given. Can happen when to the basket it’s driven.
To the line I head, superstitions in tow, dribble the ball one, two, three, hit the line with my toe.
I drew in my hand, spun the ball once around, all the others stood hushed, nary a sound.
Dressed in athletic gear, from head to my foot, my shoes were so scuffed, nearly caput.
With that jersey I wore, the name on the back, I looked just like the pros, well maybe not Shaq.
The first shot went up, off the mark it was very, still my confidence lingered like my boy, Will Cherry.
(You’ll probably need to Google that one, too.)
The second ball soared a little more straight, destined for net like called there by fate.
The point went down, our lead did inflate, we laughed when we saw it, well just my teammates.
A wink of my eye and a bob of my head, the game was now ours, t’was nothing to dread.
The contest all over, our work was complete, we sat on the porch to admire our feat.
Losers and winners, we shared the same joy, a game as memorable as when we were boys.
But time was now waning, the sun setting down, our warm winter’s day was splitting from town.
We parted ways with shouts all the same, the empty sports hole in our hearts overcame.
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good game!”
Contact AJ Mazzolini firstname.lastname@example.org or (541) 966-0839.