Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Free Agent

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

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 207-228-8263 or poetlaureate@mainewriters.org.