Dear Basketball, By Charlie McCollum

From the moment

I wore high socks to practice

And got crossed to the ground

Twice

In the Lower Gym

I knew one thing was real:

 

I fell in love with you.

 

A love so deep I gave you my all:

From my ad-hocs & mornings

To my lunches & evenings.

 

As a fifteen-year-old boy

Deeply in love with you

I never saw the end of the tunnel.

I only saw myself

Sitting on the sideline.

 

And so I watched.

 

I watched every possession

Got every cup of water for you.

You asked for my high fives

I gave you my celebrations

Because it came with so much more.

 

I watched through the sweat and hurt

Not because coach called me

But because YOU called me.

I did everything for YOU

Because that’s what you do

When someone makes you feel as

Alive as you’ve made me feel.

 

You gave a fifteen-year-old boy his Tigers dream

And I’ll always love you for it.

But I can’t love you obsessively anymore.

Last season was all I had left to give.

 

My ego can take the pounding

My mind can handle the grind

But my ankles know it’s time to say goodbye.

 

And that’s OK.

I’m ready to let you go.

I want you to know now

So we both can savor every moment we had on the bench.

The good and the bad.

We have given each other

All that we have.

 

And we both know, no matter what I do next

I’ll always be that kid

With the extremely high socks

Dribbling during garbage time

:05 seconds on the clock

Ball in my hands.

5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1

 

Love you always,

Charlie

 

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