By Willie Smith
When a boy my balls were forever breaking stuff. Knocking over vases, clearing tables with a crash, finding windows, discovering china, realizing unique and unheardof trajectories for now-you-did-it.
I had lots of balls, balls by the ton – balls clean to Washington. At the drop of a hat, in a pinch, for no reason at all, I’d enthuse over my balls.
Dribble, shoot; pass, toss – gas ‘em up tight.
Out back the dog and me played. Didn’t even use a ball. Flip a rock, bat it with a board. Every hit a bloody circus catch. Liner to the teeth. Pop up in the yap.
She’d gobble a wormkiller. Snag a bouncer on a hop. Fetch a fly off the wall to peg a slam into an out.
As a little boy, you see, without this dog, I really had no balls at all.
We’d sneak indoors for basketball. Curses took the place of football. When they stuck me in the corner, she’d sit off to a side, ears pricked, while knuckles cracked for soccer.
And if on a rainy day I had not enough to buy a dog, I’d still snare a whoopee with a rock in the mind on a beach ball.
When a boy I was forever breaking out the balls.
When a boy I was… forever… forever… for… ever.

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