Wistfully Watching A Basketball Game

by Glen Kappy

There comes a time—
(but you're not that old) —
when basketball games are viewed
only from a distance—
(and "responsibilities" are not the only reasons) .

Your face is "dignified"
with permanent topography
and though you fancy yourself
looking younger than some of your peers
it's still the "young" of approaching forty.

Only photos from a distance
do not detect all the white hairs
and you notice that the fingernails of your children
grow faster, their sunburns pain more
and they mention smells you cannot sniff.
And with the general disintegration shown in stark relief
you wonder if you'll soon need glasses.

There comes a time
when snickers ripple a mixed audience
when you've referred to yourself as "young"
(the pubescent punks can't help themselves) .
You remember back on the unsteady cedar blaze of adolescence—
(glad it's just a memory) —
and you pity the "youngsters" who are still suffering through it.

It's already been several years that you've realized you're a man
and you're pleased that milestone has long been left behind
(even if octogenarians may dither on that distinction).