Sid Gold

for Arnold Gold, 1922-98

I am certain

that if I heckled you

long enough, chuckling sarcastically,

supplying a few particulars,

you would eventually recall

those final games of one-on-one,

the two of us alone

in that schoolyard in Rego Park.


You brought your A game that day,

the lickety-split moves

in the paint, the soft touch,

playing better than I’d seen

all winter & spring.


You took two-out-of-three

& I, somewhat bemused,

went off to my freshman year.


When I returned

basketball was no longer

a metaphor for things

I had yet to experience

or comprehend.


Older now

than you were

that afternoon, I admit

I thought about owning up

to not playing my hardest.


And as for you?

Well, what are the odds?



Sid Gold is the author of four books of poetry, including Crooked Speech (Pond Road Press, '18), and a twice recipient of an MSAC Individual Artist Award for Poetry. His first book, Working Vocabulary, was reissued by the Washington Writers' Publishing House in 2021. He has poems forthcoming in Backbone Mountain Review, Gargoyle, OneArt and Schuylkill Valley Journal.