You know the sound—
the clang as the ball bounces off the rust-colored hoop.
The backboard, faded with use, trembles.
You feel it vibrate.
On the rebound, you throw again.
In your mind, the ball soars through the hoop;
a satisfying swish.
Instead, the ball ricochets, landing in the mud; it splatters.
When you pick it up, the ball is caked with mud.
You sigh, and turn to head back.
In the distance, there is a rumble of thunder
the muddy ball flies,
flecks of dirt trailing in its wake.
You watch as the ball’s path forms a perfect arc;
your heart leaps.
Once again, you think of the ball soaring through the air,
and passing through the hoop.
This time, you hear it swish.
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