Play Under Review

by Gerard Grealish

With the clock running down
the guard drove to the basket.

Before the ref ’s whistle stopped
shrieking Foul! my brother shouted What
the fuck’s the matter with you?

It was a bad call
but the man seated three rows ahead
turned to yell Will you
please watch your mouth? as if
from inside the wheelchair’s pouch my brother
could pull out a mirror
to practice ventriloquism

as if he could ignore
the temper that bristled at injustice that even long ago
cried out inconsolably from his crib
till he was nursed.

Fuck you! he fired back.
This piece of shit
knew nothing about feeling nothing
below his chest about a car tumbling
out of control about desire
without the wherewithal.

At game’s end had he not
seen the small boy
holding the man’s hand my brother’s
eyes might not have been
downcast as he wheeled toward the exits

his Sorry! lost in the language of the dispersing crowd.