Nobody ever told me
life is a boxing match
in the here and now.
It’s a dangerous world.
I must become lean,
a mean,
punching machine—
a hurricane fist,
ready to bob and weave
for the next confrontation.
I’ll keep my chin down,
look up—a left hook
may be coming my way.
Fancy foot work,
dance of fire—pivot,
a ballerina
slipping an uppercut.
Battered and bruised,
cauliflower ears,
bloody nose, black eye,
cracked lips,
but I’m still on my feet,
mouth guard in place,
but I won’t be safe
until I feel the knuckles
of my right cross
crushing cartilage
like slugs
inside a fragile shell.
I still hear the echo
of thunderous applause—
everybody loves a champ.