Thursday, August 26, 2010

for the hoops on 116th in between Carpenter and Morgan

they removed the basketball hoops
from the park this summer
the alderman said they were increasing crime

i went to the community meeting
where they discussed the crime
there were 6 of us there
the alderman wasn't
i was the only person under 50

they complained
that the courts attracted the worst
kinds to our park

said it would be safer to
take down the hoops
maybe put a garden there instead
or a vacant lot

they complained about the benches by the courts
how weed smoke wafted above them
like street lights
how boys there shot dice
and hoops
and people

when i was a shorty
I spent every Saturday
from sunrise to pitch black
at the park
the only reason
i can walk through ragtown today
as an adult
without fear
is because of the ball
and the hoop
and how the hood
respects hustle

i sat at benches
that weed smoke halos
with GDs who wouldn't pass
it to me so i could pass
in school

there was always someone
playing on the court
always shooting
not people

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