Shadow Boxing - Poem by David Cooke
The closest my dad ever got to poetry
was when he savoured some word
like pugilist, or the tip-toe springiness
he sensed in bob and weave,
his unalloyed delight in the flytings
and eyeball to eyeball hype
that went with big fight weigh-ins.
I, too, might have been
a contender when I did my stint
in the ring, my dad convinced
I had style and the stamp of a winner.
But in the end I just got bored.
You had to have a killer's instinct,
to do much better than a draw.
In the gym the lights are low.
It's after hours. I'm on my own.
The boards are rank with sweat
and stale endeavour. Shadow boxing
like the best of them, I will show
him feints, a classic stance,
trying always to keep up my guard.
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