“Basketball in the Dark”

It gets dark here early on the east coast,
standard time, when the wind begins
to prowl around the neighborhood houses.
But, every evening in the failing light,
the teen-age boy next door
bounces a basketball on
the cement in his backyard.
There is no net, no backboard,
just the metronome sound
of the ball hitting the concrete.
But why? does he envision
a career in the NBA? No,
I don’t think so; he is no giant.
But I believe this external heartbeat
shows there will always be
a steady rhythm to his life,
a comforting, repetitive thwack
that will always be his assurance
that the world will be orderly
and peaceful in a world that is neither,
that the ball will always meet
his hand, providing and promising
certainty and security of
a future less turbulent and
unpredictable as the daily news
constantly makes up new rules.