Never Got Old



"I'll know I'm getting old,"

the father said,

"when you beat me."

The son dribbled the ball

atop the key.

They stood there in the street,

hoop at the curb

in front of the small house,

just enough light catching

the rim and net.

Barely double the son's age,

They played often,

after dinner nights,

after chores on weekends.

The games were all.

K, old man, the son thought,

juking left, then,

hard step and drive right.

The father's hand shot out,

to steal the ball.

Seven straight Js later,

and game once more.

Beating the dad, turns out

Required much more work.

The dude had game.

He had earned a free ride

in the sixties

to college, but in one

final high school quarter,

that dream ended.

Scholarships vanished when

cartilage tore then.

Recovery as unclear

As a cancer fight'd be

in his fifties.

The son graduated high

school and college,

married, and the street games

became some casual,

easy shoot-arounds.

Father died and his son,

in the casket

put a ball for next time.

"Never beat you, Dad, and

you never got old."


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