A Reading with Robert Hass
By Tom Meschery
“…and I’d bounce
the ball two or three times, study the orange rim as if it were,
which it was, the true level of the world, the one sure thing.”
Robert Hass from Sun Under Wood
The writer of these lines should have been me, but wasn’t.
For years I envied the writer understanding something
I knew from experience, but could not put into words,
my love of basketball, how it has, from the beginning
into old age, kept me safe. Because I was certain that if
my body did the right thing, the rest of me, mind, soul,
whatever, would follow. I wondered back then, and still do,
how a poet came to this understanding without the years
it took me shooting the ball a thousand times a day, how
a poet got it right from a childhood memory of standing on the line?