Poetry, Grades 7 – 9: Second Place

Slam Dunk — Carolyn Epstein

The clock said 2 minutes 21 seconds,
I didn’t care,
I dribbled the orange ball,
It seemed to glow in my hands,

Each bounce was drowned out by the buzzing in my ears,
The announcer was a blur,
It was just me and the ball,

As the hoop came in sight I smiled,
The tips of my lips were chapped,
Blood filled up my tongue,
The air was wet like a dog’s mouth,
Sweat was trickling down my hairline,
But I kept dribbling,

No one challenged me,
I swerved past them all,
All I could see was the hoop,
And I came closer,

All I remember was jumping,
Visions swirled around me,
The team cheering at me,
Ella! Ella! Ella!

The touch of the ball lifted off my fingertips,
Then I got slammed,
The ball was grabbed with huge hands,
And I fell to the ground,
My back searing in pain,
The crowd went wild,
I missed,
I missed.