They sat on the subway, with their high school
duffel bags at their feet, one mesmerized
by his ear buds, the other fiddling with his basketball.
“You play high school ball?” I asked.
The one with the ball stared at me,
looking dumb as dirt.
“The team’s pretty good this year?” I tried again.
“Yeah,” he replied.
“I used to teach at your school.”
What are you reading this year?”
“I dunno.”
“What are you going to do after high school?”
His eyes lit up. “Gonna play in the NBA.”
“You have a back-up plan?”
“Don’t need one. Basketball’s my dream.
Even sleep with my ball.”
“Good luck with that,” I said, as they both got off
at the next stop, one still lost in his music,
the other bouncing his ball.
I went on, figuring the odds of an NBA career,
but who am I to punch holes in a dream?