‘Swish’: The Sweetest Sound to a Hoopster’s Ears

by on February 7, 2022 · 0 comments

in From the Soul, Sports

by Ernie McCray

There’s no single sound
in basketball
sweeter to this old hoopster’s
ear than the sound of “Swish,”
the ball
hitting nothing but net.
It’s a sound
that’s enabled
me to forget
things that have had me down,
and Sister Mary Benedict
swatting my knuckles
to Kingdom Come,
for committing any one
of her list of a million
or so sins,
would exit my mind,
along with the silent prayers
I had prayed
to some power
to smite her mean-ass to the ground.

and the lingering discomfort
of feeling ill-at-ease
from suspicious eyes
following me around,
as I strolled
up and down
the aisles
at some of the stores
in my town –
well, that anxiety
would like a feather,
in a mild wind,
just drift away…

Sometimes I’d shoot away
on a court
all by myself
and dedicate
every “Swish”
I made
to maybe something
I had accomplished that day:
making the honor roll list;
scoring a French Kiss;
hanging in there
when I was about
to call it quits;
finding some tennis shoes
that are just the right fit…

makes you feel
like you’re on it,
with it,
doing it,
and I’m remembering
a time
when I honored all those “its”
like a swish machine,
knocking down clean
shots all over the place:
from underneath the basket
and from the free throw line,
letting it fly sometimes from the corner\
and other times from the top of the key,
like some magic
had taken control of me,
resulting in 46 points
which turned out to be
the most points scored
in my school’s sports’ history,
way back at the beginning
of the 60’s
and today
the record is still a reality,
bringing me more notoriety
than I could have ever imagined
coming to me.

And I could hear
every “Swish”
over the cheers.
The sweetest sound
to a hoopster’s ears.

It’s a priceless memory
I hold dear.


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