String Music Poem by Stanley E. Long

String Music – Poem by Stanley E. Long

Somewhere in the City was a hoop of steel
With a tattered net of strings;
On a battered board weathered by time
Where young boys flirted with visions of rings.

An old ball, weathered and smooth,
Cover scuffed by the concrete street;
Yet pumped up for a lively bounce,
Teases those who dare to compete.

Teams battled for dominance here
On a court far removed from the lurch,
Where many eyes that watched the games
Were passers-by to a neighborhood church.

On a Sunday evening the organ plays
And a praise band offers a hymn of old;
Some pause to gather ‘round outside
To join in worship of a different mold.

It’s not the music of pipe or piano
And they play to a different chord,
Making string music like a symphony,
Tuned to vibrations of an old backboard.

Most won’t make it to the varsity;
Two look like they play in a trance;
Others dream of a secret world,
Strutting on the floor at the “Big Dance.”

But for those who aspire to the dream,
It’s summer camps, gyms, giving your all,
Practicing skills that made the game –
More than just a hoop and a ball.

Yet some play uptown at Madison Square
With cheering crowds under glaring lights.
Go listen to the rhythm of ball and boards;
The music of the baskets will brighten your nights.

Stanley E. Long

Stanley E. Long - Retired engineer, freelance writer, author, and photographer, Long seeks to follow in the footsteps of his father, a newspaperman who penned poems about basketball and other sports for the Indianapolis News in the 1930s. Originally from Indiana, he now lives in Norris, Tennessee, and is the author of “The Bard of Brown County,” the story of his father’s life and works.

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