Naht Boot Uh Mauler
He never felt the pain until the marrow
seeped into the cracks and crevices of fractured vertebrae
Remodeling the curvature of his spine
Until the satin robe was threadbare and
the once pearly ‘ManchesterMauler’ letters had yellowed
and frayed at the edges.
He was a shadow of the fearless aggressor, taunting opponents
with arms held wide and the tease of victory,
should they enter the personal space of ‘The Mauler.
He learned to hold the gloves higher
and sit back on his right foot, a tell,
that brought a fusillade of body blows.
A Southpaw, no longer present in the ring,
painfully aware that he was cursed
with the threat of another day.
Preservation has its price.
Daniel H. McCarty
Accompanied a story I wrote about a Welsh boxer at the end of the Line