Cornfield Basketball

Mark Jackley‘s most recent book of poems is On the Edge of a Very Small Town. His work has appeared in Sugar House Review, Fifth Wednesday, Talking River, Timberline Review, and other journals. He lives in Purcellville, VA.


Cornfield Basketball

The muddy court is empty,
the net hangs by a thread,
flapping like the cornstalks
in October decades after
the boy outran the pass
and didn’t stop until he reached
the shores of California or
the peaks of Michoacán,
who never heard again
his father’s whistle saying
the game was over, time for dinner,
time to settle down,
to bow his head, mumble
prayers at the kitchen
table and count his blessings
until he bought the farm.

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