He looked back, proud.
Years, not spent dreaming. Doing.
Step by step, every chance he could get.
Every choice he made his own.
Tossing the old, unused, hard ball
Between his once teen-aged palms.

Sunken, not Mo.
Despondent, only for a moment.
Depressed, not his style.
On to a new dimension
Testing his sinew on his terms,
Not theirs.
Heartbroken, never.

A gnash of teeth,
A fist, ready to
Smash a hard-core door.
No, not his manner, not his mien.

Don’t get him wrong,
Not soft, not sappy.
Solid, determined,
Destined for yet defined greatness.

Moving on.
Another vehicle,
More powerful, more true.
Fit for the temperament
A champion’s resolve.

The next choice is better
The challenge greater
The sweeping glance
At what will be.

That Quixotic-look sweeps across his brow.
That Mo-like half-grin to this face.
No need to prove to others
Who you are
When all in sports
Sit at your feet.

Mo, admired, revered.
He knows himself
Regales his soul with its own song
His drummer slow to the beat
At first, then symphonic filled.

He stood tall, then
And always will
As passers-by marvel at his

His aide approaches.
“The Team is ready for your
Pep-talk, Boss.”

He tosses the ball lightly, smiles,
And heads for the dugout
To address his team,
Each in their own right,
A Champion.

Charlene James-Duguid
Amissville, Virginia
February 23, 2019