The Boxer


By Daniel S.Blake:

Nose bridge flattened and re-cast
Though attire pricey and the girl on my arm eye catching
“Yes, I am the boxer”

A lion and you’re in my den
The alpha to your beta
In the world of men

The one that stands out from the crowd
My teak confidence fills a room or the arena and a part of you with doubt
You asked if it’s me I pretend I don’t like it, but I do, you know it too

28 straight wins unbeaten though
Crucifix inside my shoes every time
How did I feel about my next bout? “Absolutely fine”

I dance in my ego

Under the shining lights
Those four roped corners
My coach can swear for Blighty, often he does

You know I trained a lifetime for those 12 rounds
Knuckles Den knocked me down onto my knees
The beads of sweat flew off my brow out into the crowd

Wobbling and then collapsed, I went for the 8 count
Placed my foot, it slipped
The ref he counted me out

I told you “You take one hell of a beating in this trade”
Up at 6 skipping rope, sparring against boneheaded hungry wolfs in the chase
“Sometimes I wish I were an artist getting paid money for poncing about”, I said thinking out loud

I dance in my ego

But those 12 rounds they took everything from me
A hundred punches landed in my face
Since then I’ve never felt the same

When I laced up my gloves that time
I never gave a thought about the other side
…that of taking a beating

A 50/50 fight they said
Easy easy money, I thought
My manager afterwards muttered: “you just got caught”. Easy for you to say, I thought

I train for a moment my down payment on perfection
A sweet crisp right hook to me is like a painting signed by Van Gogh
But for a moment being humble when the lights shone brightest, this time, I crumbled

Skin scarred and ribs bruised, glimpsing gloves through stinging slits
Nerves wired, gasping for breath, knees planted on the floor with nothing left
I fear now that’s how I’ll be remembered

I dance in my ego

I placed it on the line that night
Now I’ll pay the price
“Yes, I am the boxer”

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