The ex-wife always hated my fights, said that boxing’s a barbaric sport.
And since my only talent was channeling rage, I never had any retort.
While it’s true that my peers had considerable skills, athletes with timing and grace,
Ruled by fierce dedication to their craft, honing technique, precision, and pace,
As opposed to a brawler who just longed for a chance to punch someone else in the face,
Perhaps that’s why I’d spent so much time sprawled out on the mat.
The people would jeer and they’d call me a bum; a mountain of lumbering mass.
I’d fling wild blows at my pugilist foe and he’d promptly knock me on my ass.
It’s hard to say if more practice and grit would have made a difference in the ring.
Every time I passed through those parallel ropes, my mind fixated on one thing—
An image of pop with that damn leather belt. I swear I could still feel the sting.
Once I was old enough to hit back, he switched to a bat.
A career based on trying to punch my way through time was not favorable to success,
And to treat weekly trauma to body and mind, I began drinking to great excess.
Those last couple bouts I was swatting at air; a display that had grown tired and sad.
Greeting jabs and left hooks with a frenzy of howls, I clutched onto the corner pad.
Then a straight right hit me square in the jaw, thrown by a man with the face of my dad.
With a slow count and loud bell, the farce had come to an end.
Lucky for me there is always a place for the spiteful to bloody their fists.
At mixed martial arts fights on amateur night, I’ve been working my way up the lists.
No exhibitions of fluidic form, here brutality is what earns respect.
Every man who steps onto to that octagonal floor has some wrong they’re trying to correct.
Nothing to gain but a merciless clash with a thug like my dad, I suspect.
And if that’s not exactly true, I can always pretend.
© Ben Siegan, 2018
|Roman Hardok knocks out Jakob Jakobi in round 2|
Photo by Henning Snater
from Wikimedia Commons