A Poem for the New York Knicks of my Childhood


Such a bruising game, driveway basketball:
hip-checking allowed against the garage,
rose thorns stealing the dribble down the left side,
crazy ricochets off the low eves,
no out-of-bounds except the tomatoes.
To win, you risked scraped knees, black eyes,
making an enemy out of a friend for a week.

But why not? To rise for the jump shot
with your feet kicked back like Dickie Barnett
and snap the net with a swish. To haul down
a rebound like Willis then spin for the feather-light
hook. To stand at the top of the key, 20-20,
knowing your next fake could open the lane
for your best move: a reverse lay-up and glory.

(Click here for a spoken word version.)

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The Mother Grouse Blog is produced by Will Nixon, author of My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse and Love in the City of Grudges.

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