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?