He waltzes into the lane
’cross the free-throw line,
fakes a drive, pivots,
floats from the asphalt turf
in an arc of black light,
and sinks two into the chains.

One on one he fakes
down the main, passes
into the free lane
and hits the chains.

A sniff in the fallen air—
he stuffs it through the chains
riding high:
“traveling” someone calls—
and he laughs, stepping
to a silent beat, gliding
as he sinks two into the chains.

  • Michael S. Harper, “Makin’ Jump Shots” from Images of Kin. Copyright © 1977 by Michael S. Harper. Used by permission of the poet and University of Illinois Press.

  • Source: Images of Kin (University of Illinois Press, 1977)

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"Though I have always had an immense love and appreciation for poetry, particularly spoken word poetry, it was not until I was given the opportunity to go on stage and actually deliver the words of others that I was able to comprehend the real impact of this art."
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2017 NC POL Champion