NBA Finals: Ode to Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks face LeBron/Wade/Bosh and the Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals. The Mavs lost to the Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals.

Fast Break

In Memory of Dennis Turner, 1946-1984

By Edward Hirsch

A hook shot kisses the rim and
hangs there, helplessly, but doesn’t drop,

and for once our gangly starting center
boxes out his man and times his jump

perfectly, gathering the orange leather
from the air like a cherished possession

and spinning around to throw a strike
to the outlet who is already shoveling

an underhand pass toward the other guard
scissoring past a flat-footed defender

who looks stunned and nailed to the floor
in the wrong direction, trying to catch sight

of a high, gliding dribble and a man
letting the play develop in front of him

in slow motion, almost exactly
like a coach’s drawing on the blackboard,

both forwards racing down the court
the way that forwards should, fanning out

and filling the lanes in tandem, moving
together as brothers passing the ball

between them without a dribble, without
a single bounce hitting the hardwood

until the guard finally lunges out
and commits to the wrong man

while the power-forward explodes past them
in a fury, taking the ball into the air

by himself now and laying it gently
against the glass for a lay-up,

but losing his balance in the process,
inexplicably falling, hitting the floor

with a wild, headlong motion
for the game he loved like a country

and swiveling back to see an orange blur
floating perfectly through the net.

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2 thoughts on “NBA Finals: Ode to Dirk Nowitzki

  1. Pingback: New Song: Florence + the Machine “What the Water Gave Me” « the darlingdarling blog

  2. Pingback: The big WINZKI. Die Geburt einer Marke. | Deutsche Markenarbeit

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