My Dad the Bricklayer


By Shonté Daniels

You are the echo of the rim when the ball bricks, propelled by the hot air in your shout. That rim shook so fast I could have sworn it was your mouth running with excuses. Once I followed you when you fled, found you on the courts singing with boys twenty years younger, a player’s chorus. You worshipped the concrete you fell on, hands flailing free from a lover’s grip on your wrist to keep your kite body still. The ball’s bounce sang a player’s name. You played until the end, when the ball puddled leather at your feet, empty of its musings. Praise the court for keeping you alive this long. The only thing you can love and scold and return to is basketball. No matter where I am I still hear your stuttering like that hoop to find the answers to your failings, still waiting for that ruthless ball to sit through the hoop and stay, like Saturn, God of Jumps, and revolve around your lying tongue. You could be the next Jordan if someone would sing your name again.


Shonté Daniels is a poet and games journalist from New Jersey. She is currently an editorial associate at Rewire, and a copy editor for Muzzle Magazine. Shonté's poetry has been in Apogee, Puerto del SolPhoebe, and elsewhere. Follow Shonté on Twitter @JohnnyxH.