In this month of the NBA playoffs, here’s a basketball poem by Marija Sanderling of Wells, who questions the success rate of a solitary shooter on a city court. 

Free Agent

By Marija Sanderling

He shoots baskets

The empty lot

The netless hoop

Suspended like a halo

His daily routine

Sometimes with others

Mostly alone

To shoot and dribble

Like the players on tv

He’s a free agent

Who dropped out of school

So even the gym teacher

Can’t tell him

If he’s any good.

Three hours a day

No traveling

No transitions

Just free throws and slam dunks

And all it’s gotten him

Is a 90% success rate

And a view of the city

Through the chain-link fence. 

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2010 by Marija Sanderling. Reprinted from “Maine Taproot,” Encircle Publications, 2010, by permission of Marija Sanderling. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, special assistant to the Maine poet laureate, at 228-8263 or [email protected]