Of course, they were playing ball
in the narrow alleyway
between apartment buildings,
where nothing could ever grow.
They were tossing the ball back
and forth, back and forth, trying
to upstage one another,
without malice, as boys do,
little rubber ball bouncing
in a dark corridor
between two red-brick buildings,
back and forth, until one boy
threw it hard and high. It soared
over the other boy’s head,
who swung around fast and dashed
into the street without looking.