The Net

(from Within My Illusions)


“Never underestimate the importance of the net,”
he tells me on the ride to school.
Of course.
The net.

“The net has a huge impact on my shot.”
That doesn’t make any sense,
I think but don’t say.

“Some nets are too thin,” he continues.
Why would the net make a difference?
The ball doesn’t touch it until after it clears the rim,
after you know whether or not the shot has gone in.

“I like a net that’s a little stiff, but not too stiff.”
But it just hangs there without purpose.
You can’t bank the angles like you can on the backboard.
I’ve seen the way a funny bounce off the rim
can make or break a game.
But not the net.

“Yep, it’s all in the net.”

Finally, I look at him and say,
“It’s kinda strange.”

“Yeah,” he says,
“It’s such a mental game.”