When Uptown Basketball Legends Mourn

by Claude Johnson

John Isaacs, memorialized

John Isaacs.

Fur coats on this many black men this tall?
Coming out of a hall?
This distinguished, this old?
Such a mythical beautiful sight to behold
Spilling onto a Harlem street
Come rain or snow or hail or sleet
Warm hearts despite the bitter cold
Having paid their last respects to a friend
Among them another empty seat
A life we thought would never end
A man, a mentor, a teammate to all
Heard his final whistle, final bounce of a ball

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