The Game by John Saunders

It bounced back to me as soon as coaching began,
how a forward or backward move is a sideways shuffle
and defence is a chaos of shadows and waving arms,
that the object of the game is to block without touching.

It is the ultimate battle of strategy, stamina and skill,
to slam dunk the ball over sky stretched heads,
dance the ballet of dribble, pass and rebound, listen
to the rhythm of bounce on wood, passes deflected,

until the ball is stolen and an offence makes the basket.
How many games did I play, win, or lose?
What have I learned after all these wasted years?
Will he succeed or fail--break the same rules?

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