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"Old Men Playing Basketball"

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Aleks Schuler

on 13 June 2014

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Transcript of "Old Men Playing Basketball"

"Old Men Playing Basketball"
by B.H. Fairchild

The heavy bodies lunge
, the broken language
of fake and drive, glamorous jump
slowed to a stutter
. Their gestures, in love
again with the
pure geometry of curves

rise toward the ball,
falter, and fall
On the boards their hands and fingertips
tremble in tense
little prayers of reach
and balance.
Then, the grind of bone

and socket, the caught breath, the sigh,
the grunt of the body laboring to give
birth to itself.
In their toiling and grand
I wonder, do they still make love

to their wives, kissing the undersides
of their wrists, dancing the old soft-shoe
of desire? And on the long walk home
from the VFW,
do they still sing

to the drunken moon
Stands full, clock
moving, the one in army fatigues
says to himself
pick and roll
and the phrase sounds musical as ever,

radio crooning songs of love after the game,
the girl leaning in the Chevy's front seat
as her raven hair flames in the shuddering
light of the outdoor movie
, and now he drives,

gliding toward the net.
A glass wand
autumn light breaks over the backboard
Boys rise up in old men,
wings begin to sprout
at their backs
The ball turns in the darkening air.

Tone: reflective, reminiscent, nostalgic

Theme: aging, how life used to be

Free verse poem with seven quatrains
Full transcript