February 2, 2020

Rayon Lennon

KOBE

You take off, a helicopter
Grinding through hilly
Cali fog, like intricate NBA
Playoff defenses, the pilot god
Losing control as you coach
Your daughter’s fear away,
Knowing your world
Can’t possibly crash now,
But lost, lost in white,
Thinking of surviving
Like the ending
Of a game, where
You, immortal, Mamba,
Pour in one free throw
And maybe miss another,
The ball booming back
To you, the last resort
To win after willing
Your team back from double
Digits and you fly
In for the hammer dunk
But the shot clock dies,
The way the copter
Kisses the rim of a dumb hill,
Flames, your life
Flowering a valley.

from Poets Respond
February 2, 2020

__________

Rayon Lennon: “Kobe, his daughter and others perished in a helicopter accident this week. I needed to process such a tragic ending while connecting it to Kobe’s competitiveness. Kobe was a superhero on the basketball court. He worked hard to master the game. He believed in himself and in turn made us believe in ourselves and the power of the human spirit. I think Kobe believed he would make it out of the fog, because his life was so much about winning. It was tough to see images of flames; so I changed those flames to flowers.” (web)

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