“Leap of Faith”

by Steven Trenam

I take my daughter to the ballet studio
at a former convent in Marin.
She will be dancing for hours.

At the edge of the church’s property
is an old gymnasium.
I ascend the stairs and find the door
unlocked. The gym is empty.
Through a long expanse of windows
improvisational sunlight flows—
dust particle adagios in the slipstream.
I can almost hear Love Supreme
in the sonorous morning air.

Two small birds enter
through a broken window
and sing their way up
to a nest in the rafters,
riffing on a Coltrane refrain.

I notice a rack of balls
at the far end of the court
and start shooting free throws,
expand to twenty footers,
and finally, the fantasy
of a half-court shot.

Reminded of my distant past
scrimmaging the Warriors—
Rick Barry in his prime
driving the baseline,
gliding like my daughter
as she glissades across her floor—
effortless and magical.

I retire to the stands
to reflect on my spent youth,
my daughter making music visible,
her grand jetés,
higher than I could ever leap,
even in my heyday.

My reflective soul resides
in this dusty relic of a building,
playing court to my form of ballet—
as close as I will ever come
to a place of worship.

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Steve Trenam’s bio
An Affront to Gravity

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