Back in the day
The blue and gold
Meant winter time
On the hardwood
Dribbling, shooting, monkey drills,
And bronchitis.

It was a yearly affair
The burning cough,
The phlegmy expressions,
A denial of sickness
In the face
Of missing playing time.

The years passed
And so did the yearly hack
Until this year
When coaching reentered my life
Bringing with it
A little of the respiratory fun time.

Perhaps hoops
Just wouldn’t be the same
Without the lung lurching cough
And gallons of whatever
Drips from my nose.
I could do without it, though.

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