My dad could never live
Vicariously through pugilists
He would listen, allowing
The imagination and the voice
Of Don Dunfy to move his fists,
bob & weave in the din of his car.
Occasionally he’d put his mitts
To his face; a Floyd Patterson
Stance, then slowly rest
Them to his sides.
As he got older he’d discern
A boxer from a fighter-
The grace on a grainy TV screen
To a plodding palooka
Who moved only when
The horizontal went out of whack.
Cassius Clay is a boxer, he’d chime
As Howard Cosell pushed a sweaty
mike in front of the animated boxers face.
I had no difficulty telling that dad
Was a fighter, the way he hit
With stick or hand, had no grace
Like a head-butt, or a low punch
I had no chance, and no referee.