Wednesday, April 24, 2013

When We Flew

[Another Facebook post cannibalized for National Poetry Month.  At the time I wrote this, Kobe had not yet suffered his season-ending Achilles injury.]

I was watching yet another YouTube clip of Kobe wowing us with his athleticism and wizardry, and I started thinking about how many of the highlights were in another century. Hard as it may seem to believe at the moment, there will come a day when Kobe will no longer be able to dunk. It might not come this decadehell, if MJ is any indication, it might not come the next, eitherbut it will come.

Anyway, I started getting a bit depressed about that, and so as if to bring myself out of that funk, I started scribbling some lines. And I found that it actually sort of helped, a little. I hasten to emphasize that all this has nothing at all to do with the fact that a birthday is coming up, or anything like that. That is so a coincidence.

It may read as though it's about other things, and it can be. But I really did write it with basketball in mind.

when we flew

When we flew,
we made legends.
We startled and we stunned,
and foes grasped at us in vain.
Our wings would never tire,
and our lungs never fail.
The world lived a thousand times
and never knew how close it had come,
and all because we flew
     when we flew.

When we flew,
time stood to watch,
then travelled back to watch again,
hardly daring to believe.
Space cleared space for us,
and light held us in her gaze.
The stars shone their mute fanfare
shattering their crystal spheres,
and all because we flew
     when we flew.

Now we stand,
make way while children soar.
We wear our pride like envy,
and dress our unease in longing.
We envision battles we will never fight,
and so we shall never lose.
A thousand times we'll close our eyes and ears
and sip champagne from glass slippers,
and all because we flew
     when we flew.

Copyright © 2012 Brian Tung

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