Basketball is not only king in Converse,
it’s the whole damn royal court.

If you want to know,
I don’t particularly care for b-ball,
but saying something like that is treason ’round here.
My father, the owner of the feed store in town,
played for our high school team, the Cougars,
before he went to Nam and got shot up.
He doesn’t talk much about his injuries,
but rather talks about the fights he had
with our divisional rivals over in Ebarb.
“I once scored forty-three points against ’em,” he said.
“I think it was a parish record for about five years.”
Once in a while, my father fakes left, goes right
down the aisles where the fertilizer bags sit,
but it’s like he’s movin’ in super slo-mo.
“Goin’ to the game, Friday?” he asks,
ever hopeful I will catch the basketball bug.
I love my father, I really do,
as he stares in the stands of his youth,
acutely aware that the final horn
has sounded on his teenage dreams.