Floyd Skloot: "Sock Basketball"




A bottomless, lidless shoebox

taped above my bedroom door

became the hoop, with a pair

of rolled-up socks as the ball.


I was preparing for the growth

spurt that never arrived. Slam

dunk, spin moves, sky hook,

fingertips against the ceiling.


Game after game as the clock

ticked the last seconds down

the score was tied, the crowd

went wild. I stood in the light


from a window, ball in hand,

only a bed and burly chest

of drawers between me and

victory, calm in the knowledge


that in this tight space I had all

the moves, the perfect touch.



Floyd Skloot’s Selected Poems: 1970-2005 (Tupelo Press, 2008) won a 2009 Pacific NW Booksellers Association Book Award.  His sixth collection of new poems, The Snows Music, appeared from LSU Press in 2008, and a forthcoming collection is due from Tupelo Press.  He received the 2004 PEN USA Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction for his memoir, In the Shadow of Memory (University of Nebraska Press, 2003). His memoir, The Wink of the Zenith: The Shaping of a Writers Life, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2008. Skloot has also won three Pushcart Prizes, an Independent Publishers Book Award, and two Oregon Book Awards.