Hoodie

A gray hoodie will not protect my son 
from rain, from the New England cold.

I see the partial eclipse of his face
as his head sinks into the half-dark

and shades his eyes. Even in our 
quiet suburb with its unlocked doors, 

I fear for his safety—the darkest child
on our street in the empire of blocks.

Sometimes I don’t know who he is anymore 
traveling the back roads between boy and man.

He strides a deep stride, pounds a basketball 
into wet pavement. Will he take his shot 

or is he waiting for the open-mouthed 
orange rim to take a chance on him? I sing 

his name to the night, ask for safe passage 
from this borrowed body into the next   

and wonder who could mistake him 
for anything but good.