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Poetry of Issue #7        Page 19

One On One With the Big Dipper


More awesome than the spectacular
pattern of 7 stars in the night sky,
it was, indeed, Wilt Chamberlain
coming into sight, as I stood taking
a lunchbreak smoke by the bland 42nd St.
office building I worked in. Streamlined
and perfectly proportioned, a shade
over 7 feet tall, “The Big Dipper”
held insurmountable individual
records, and was easily the biggest,
most dominant athlete of my childhood.
Larger than life, in my world he ranked
number 2, second only to Spiderman.
Retired for more than twenty years, now
into his fifties, effortlessly toting a large
gym bag in hand, his gaze fixed straight
ahead, well above all other heads, strides
long and fluid, he exuded the aplomb
of a demigod. As many called out to him
in adulation, I stuffed a sudden twisted
urge to yell, Howzda air up dere?
The man was nothing short of a natural
wonder. Seeing him now, I was able to
forget about the fat rent I owed the usurious
lord of the land, and that in twenty minutes
I’d be back working a job I hated, for a man
I couldn’t stomach. Fueled by rare purpose
on this otherwise dead day, I needed
to show Wilt proper respect, so I pursued
him. Standing by his side, I firmly said,
“Wilt, you could still lead the league
in rebounding.” He halted. Looked down
deep into my face, and said, “I believe
you’re right.” I was a little kid again.


*First published in The Chiron Review Issue# 112/113

  Ted Jonathan