HER CONFESSION TOSSES THE BALL TO ME FOR A FREE THROW
It’s just fear, like a whistle screeching.
An autumn weekend tightens, a foul
for many things being knocked down.
Clattered shouts of wind and leaves
quiet, I toe the nail in the floorboards,
spin fingertips three times over the ball
of my knee, breathe out purposefully.
There are many ways to play through
anxiety. Eye the rim of her glasses,
crooked as the white pine behind the
basket, where I line up shots into
the wind. Her face, striped with tears,
waiting. I learned that I cannot break
a last second tie aggressively, I don’t
have that strength or speed. Instead,
lift the ball off my palm and whatever
I do, I will hold the follow-through.
Matthew Miller teaches social studies, swings tennis rackets, and writes poetry - all hoping to create home. He and his wife live beside a dilapidating orchard in Indiana, where he tries to shape dead trees into playhouses for his four boys. His poetry has been featured in River Mouth Review, Club Plum Journal and Ekstasis Magazine.