OFF CENTER (basketball)

An Asian family, recently moved in next door,
pads around on silent feet. We hardly hear them,
but occasionally say, “Good morning”
out front in our separate languages.
The grandmother hangs wash in the back,
and everyday about one o’clock
the two young boys bounce basketballs
on the cement back yard.There is no net,
just the dribbling of two basketballs.
How strange it all is.
How off our game we are –
parents home, the boys not in school,
no goal, just a lot of dribbling around,
the sky, too, with no purpose, no color,
justĀ  with the gray dullness of an iron skillet.
We are all off our game,
waiting for the regular rules to be reinstated.
And for now, and for how long will the two boys
continue to dribble their basketballs?