Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tribute to Earl Manigault and other street basketball legends



Ghosts of the Playground


Remaining leaves try to
crawl over basketball court fences
as I walk past the park stepping
over bones scattered on the asphalt.

I see Earl “The Goat” Manigault
standing on a ladder threading a net through
iron tassels on the rim.

I see Richard “Pee Wee” Kirkland
with a broom sweeping dirt
and sand towards the sidelines.

I see James “Fly” Williams
with a paint brush touching up the key
making glow it one again.

I see Lewis “Black Magic” Lloyd
with a tape measure making sure
the rim is 10 feet tall.

I see Herman “Helicopter” Knowings
wiping dust off the top of the backboards.

I see Curtis “CJ” Jones
throwing away broken beer bottles
and syringes.

I see Joe “The Destroyer” Hammond
throwing down thunderous jams,
“Seems fine to me.”

People walking by bump into me
and point out how much the baskets
are shaking from the wind.

Now I know who prepares
the courts for nice weather.



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