Basketball at the YMCA: Six Word Memoirs Slice of Life #sol18 8/31

My kid in full Westbrook attire:
Shirt, shoes, socks, armbands, attitude, intensity.
Guards kid who channels Kevin Durant:
KD shirt, shoes, shorts, socks, shot.
They all rep their favorite players
Kobe, King James, Dame Dollar, Harden
Jordan is the constant. Ubiquitous, universal.
Everybody wants to be like Mike.


Shot is flat. Forgot to jump?
South Gym smells like swimming pool.
North Gym smells like dirty socks.
A clank off the rim. Denied.
Hard foul. A flurry of cursing.
Sneakers squeak ball bounces net swishes


Kids divide into shirts and skins.
But two skins leave shirts on
It looks like seven on three.
Confusion abounds. “Which team are you?!”




22 responses to “Basketball at the YMCA: Six Word Memoirs Slice of Life #sol18 8/31”

  1. I really like what you did with this. I wouldn’t think of writing something like this where each line has the same number of words. It would be a great exercise to use with students.

    • I don’t usually write poetry but there’s something about the six word format that’s both doable and poetic–at least for me! I usually use the form a few times a semester with my students, and they always surprise me with the depth and power of their lines!

  2. I love this form! Having a daughter who played basketball and now coaches, I have spent many hours in a gym. I can relate with everything from the sounds, the smells, …well, maybe not the shirts and skins! 🙂

    I love the confusion!

  3. Agreed! I contemplated a six-word memoir for a slice, but couldn’t narrow it down enough, but grouped together! Brilliant! Love that challenge too! Did your son help you out with some basketball lingo? Or did you fly solo? Impressive!

    • Thanks, Michelle! We are all basketball all the time around here. We spend hours at the gym, listen to basketball podcasts on the drive home, and then watch basketball until bedtime! My son is truly obsessed. Sometimes I think I hear basketball announcers and buzzers in my sleep!

      • My younger son, K, did competitive basketball and we had a similar lifestyle for years. Surprisingly, I really miss it now!

  4. I love the rhythm of this poem, especially the alliteration and assonance! I really like the idea of grouping your six words into a larger piece – genius!

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