John Blair Reads
In a green ski jacket and red earband
I dribble the basketball on concrete cracks.
My numb ungloved hands
slap slap cold leather
resuscitating stale air inside.
I shoot the ball…
elongated in light shadows,
it streaks toward night.
Dad drives home in his two-tone green
Chevrolet Belair 1955
with a silver-wing hood ornament
and brilliant high-beam headlights
that rake the dark
and shoo cats into alley crevices.
I pull up the garage door and watch him
maneuver through the small opening
with astonishing ease
he discards the day’s residue
newspapers, telephone messages, cigarette butts.
Hi son, he acknowledges breezily
motions with his hands for the ball
and dribbles three times.
As he jumps, his dark gray topcoat flows
like a cape
and the swirling blue ball