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Poem: "Head Above the Crowd" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Head Above the Crowd"
This poem is from the December 2, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] helgatwb and [personal profile] janetmiles. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] rix_scaedu. This poem belongs to the Danso & Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

"Head Above the Crowd"

When Noah invited Danso to come watch
the basketball game, it gave him a fluttery feeling
that lasted all the way until the game actually started,
and then he got swept away by the action.

Noah dodged and wove through the opposing team,
so nimble that they had a hard time keeping up,
let alone stealing the ball from him.

It wasn't that he was especially fast,
and he was shorter than most other players --
he just ducked and spun and twirled on his toes
so that they tripped over themselves
trying not to crash into him.

Noah still got fouled frequently, which
always made Danso catch his breath,
but the referee was fair.

He waved his arms in the brown-and-yellow
giraffe uniform and blew the whistle every time.

Noah got a lot of free throws.

It took Danso a while to figure out
what the big man was doing
with the quicksilver ripple of his power --
some kind of timebending that
Danso had never seen before.

He was using it as a kind of instant replay
that did not require a camera. That was pretty cool.

The referee really was like a giraffe,
standing with his head above the crowd,
able to see everything that passed.

Danso thought that he might, with practice,
learn the trick of it without touching the man's power
if he watched enough basketball games with this referee.

After the game, Danso made a point of catching him to say,
"Thanks. You were fun to watch, and you made great calls."

Noah laughed at the man's startled look, patting Danso
on the shoulder. "You're adorable," he said.
"Nobody ever thinks to thank the ref."

"Well, they should," Danso said, "even if
you were more amazing still."

Noah was still grinning when they went out for ice cream.

* * *


Oday Mosley -- He has brown skin and brown eyes. He is bald with a short moustache and beard. He is big and tall, in good shape. While his power has minimal effect on the outside world -- the most he can do there is speed or slow time slightly to prevent an accident -- he has much better control over his own perceptions. So he can see things in slow motion or instant replay, very useful in his chosen profession.
Qualities: Expert (+2) Basketball Referee, Good (+2) Contacts in Youth Support, Good (+2) Patience, Good (+2) Physically Fit
Powers: Average (0) Timebending

* * *
Basketball can be an interesting sport to watch. It looks to me like Noah is playing the small forward position.

Teamwork is especially important in basketball, more so than in some other group sports. There are way to build team chemistry.

One of the prompts referred to a brown-and-yellow checkered referee shirt for basketball, hence "giraffe" instead of "zebra." I couldn't find one exactly like it, but I did find black-and-yellow stripes and this diamond-checked racer.

Personal fouls entail interfering with an individual player. They can be hard to spot amidst the scramble of the game.

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