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Getting to Game

As I push hard on my bicycle
To get home
To drive into the city
To see a basketball game
The largest hawk I have ever seen
Is seated
On a low hanging branch
Across my path
So I stop,
And stare
And the hawk stares back.
The visiting Hawks playing the home team.
There is heavy construction on the bridge
It’s Sunday afternoon
Traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction
Miles from the merge
We are not moving
And when we do
It is at less than three miles per hour
So I exit the passenger door and start walking,
For the exercise I say
And to distract myself
From the anxiety and discomfort
Of what will be our now inevitably late arrival 
People in cars I pass make joking comments,
As I walk by them
Hey it’s America,
And my heart is struggling
Over the hills I climb
And my mind
Like my heart
Is erratically beating
And my shortness of breath
And my contemplation
Is of death
And healing
And the gifts of modern medicine I’m hoping for.
Of faith,
And denial
There is surprisingly little trash
On the gravelly side of the road
Mostly broken glass and rusted metal
Parts of rubber tires
Frayed rope and broken bungee cords
I find a baseball hat
That has the words “Dead Guy”
Imprinted on it.
It’s a nice hat
And I try not to take it personally
To imagine I will grow into it
To take this reminder from the guides
In the best and deepest way I can.
I find a silver Canadian quarter
With a moose on one side
And the queen mother on the otherEach symbolizing
An image ideal we have
Of monarchy and majestry
I even find a knit cap
Which reads, “Ground Zero. 
New York City.
We will never forget”
And I will never forget
As I put the cap on
And get back into the car
A full hour later
As we creep over the bridge
Our vehicles
Squeezed like blood
Through narrowed vessels
Coated with 
arterial plaque
Then squirted in relief
Through the ventricle
Out onto the open highway
Moving above the posted speed limits
The game already on the radio
To the off ramp
Across the yellow light
Into the parking place
Onto the escalator
Into the nosebleed section
The basketballs raining through the hoops
And through the nets
As fit and nimble men
Run up and down the court.
Exactly what we paid and prayed for.