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Three Poems for the Fallen Dion Waiters

Some words in remembrance of the injured Miami Heat guard to hold us over until Waiters Island reopens next season   

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

In December, Dion Waiters, who is a joy and a marvel and a hero (and possibly of divine blood), severely rolled his ankle. His body would not allow him to get past it, so now he’s having season-ending surgery. As such, here are three poems about death.


Los Angeles Clippers v Miami Heat Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

I. The Morning, not the Mourning

The poem “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day? (Sonnet 18)” by William Shakespeare, except it’s “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day? (Player 11)” by Shea Serrano

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more hot from the behind the arc and more temperate in disposition:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of the playoff months,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date, as did your 2018 season:
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines, like the time you were mad LeBron wouldn’t pass you the ball, which was perfect,
And often is your championship aspiration dimm’d;
And every postseason from postseason declines,
By chance, or the NBA’s changing course, untrimm’d;
But thy eternal sauce shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that swagger thou ow’st;
Nor shall ankle injury brag thou brilliance in his shade,
When in eternal Vines and highlight memes thou grow’st;
So long as players can shoot or eyes can see baskets,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Charlotte Hornets v Miami Heat Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

II. The Afternoon and the Afterglow

The first verse of the poem “I Miss My Homies” by Percy “Master P” Miller, except it’s “I Miss My Homie” by Shea Serrano

I used to watch my Dion, even stalk my Dion,
I used to bang for Dion, goddamn I miss Dion.
We started out youngsters in the park throwin’ birds,
In your suit, damn, it’s sad you on the injured reserve.

The game got me workin’, got me perkin’, never jerkin’,
Still watching highlights for you ’cause I know you’re up there workin’.
Your little teammates are cool, and your coaches are straight,
But today’s a sad day to see the injured reserve with your name.

From the cradle to the grave, from the courts we used to fall,
In the park you liked to ball, put your name up on the wall.
In the games, you’re a legend, on the street you were a star,
But it’s sad to my homeboy riding in that black car.

A lot of players done died, a lot of mothers done cried,
You done took your piece of the pie, but you was too young to retire.
Why players play for your name, leave it in vain.
Some players never change, damn, they injured you for some change.

Smile for my homie Dion Waiters, my boy Kobe Wade.
The basketball fans that lost their loved one to one of these games played.

Miami Heat v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

III. The Night, Not the Dark

The poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas, except it’s “Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Highlight” by Shea Serrano

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Injured ankles should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the highlight.

Though wise All-Stars at their end know dark is right,
Because their plays had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Great players, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced as you did at the expense of the Bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the highlight.

Wild players who caught and shot the fun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved a shot on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good highlight.

Grave players, near the injured reserve, who see the blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be First Team All-NBA,
Rage, rage against the dying of the highlight.

And you, Dion, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the highlight.