The older black boys, men to me,
Playing basketball two blocks away.
Through the air of parking lots unused
Their quiet motion spoke
Of leisure and assembly,
The languid grace of plays
They drove their fellows through:
Ballet of men, cordial, by the rules
They all up kept. Merit only
Was their measure and their sport,
So purely unlike the unfair world
That had no job or school for them.
They had all been prospects once.
To themselves they were the gold of things.
To my eyes they were the gods made men.