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In that moment, when your son
makes a basket for the other team,
you can’t decide if you want the game
to go on forever so he can redeem himself
or if you want the court
to open up and swallow you

so you don’t have to feel like this:

That every wire in the panel of your body
is frayed and exposed,
shorting out, ungrounded,
alive with the ferocity that fed and rocked him,
said goodbye to him at preschool,
surprised him with a Christmas bike.

So you don’t have to feel
every cell re-ordered and raw, knowing
what it’s like to let go, take the shot,
let the game and clock keep going
though it’s almost too much to bear.


Sarah Murphy-Kangas has been writing poetry and filling journals since elementary school. She lives in Bellingham, Washington with her family and works with organizations and leaders to create strong teams, resolve conflict, and plan for the future. Her favorite poet these days is Ellen Bass.

© 2018, Sarah Murphy-Kangas

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