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Afternoon Basketball

from FRESHURIZED by Stephen Bard



Willie Byrd the Third, I heard they clipped his wings
He don’t fly, don’t go high, don’t know why
The birds in this cage still sing
Ain’t no heat on Mission St.
It’s beat, they hardly eat all day
Against the wall as all that salty soul food just gets thrown away

Winters on the kitchen floor
The flaming oven’s open jaw
Like summer’s burning bedroom claw
But not as fierce and not as raw

Demo’s cool in school
He plays the fool for all his mugs in class
Clowns around but division’s got him down
The boy is hardly passing
Tries to rise but the criticizing eyes
Just see another stupid kid
No one takes the time to find
That precious mine there in his head

Willie Byrd, T. and Jerome
Though the bell has rung ain’t going home
Demo kicks it down to the gym
He knows his boys be waiting on him to play

Afternoon basketball
Up and down the court
Some are tall, some are short
They play afternoon basketball
Hits a layup on the fly
Hams it up when the girls go by
You say afternoon basketball

Jerome’s daddy ain’t nowhere to be found
And Willie Byrd’s just flew
Demo’s brother is doing 7 for fives and dimes
And that .22 he had
Grandma Byrd says, “He got what he gave…
The boy just ain’t no good.
Could’ve stayed in school but now
He’s nothing but some lowly hood.”

Willie lies in bed at night
And prays dear Jesus make it right
Bring my daddy home to stay
So maybe Sundays he and I could play

Afternoon basketball
Up and down the court
Some are tall and some are short
They play afternoon basketball
Shooting hoop out in the sun
Nothing wrong with having fun
You say afternoon basketball

Willie Byrd the Third, the word I heard is that he had a Fourth
Took his sweet Latisha and their baby boy to live up north
Don’t know why the years all fly and suddenly his boy is ten
Works real hard down at the yard
Never seen his pop again

But Willie Byrd done made a vow
To bring that boy up good somehow
Been there every single day
And Sundays now they both go out and play

Afternoon basketball
Up and down the court
Daddy’s big and his boy is short
But not for long, no not for long
Hits a layup on the fly
Hams it up with his momma watching him
Afternoon basketball


from FRESHURIZED, released July 19, 2018
Drumz, Bass, Keyz, Guitar & Vox: Stephen Bard.
Horn Arrangement, Hornz & Background Vox: Matt Wayne.


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