Who’ll go a round or two for a pound or two?
— Jimmy Sharman
The town’s tough, unlimited confidence
dominates sectarian skirmishes
in the park. Bluff and bravado
to volunteer for the boxing ring
at the agricultural show.
The bass drum, a sonorous rhythm
from the platform. The mob mills inside,
clambers onto the tiered
The next Lionel Rose appears,
never speaks. He’ll use
the language of his fists.
Circling, dance of the cockerels;
rugged redolence of sweat and liniment.
The crowd yells for blood.
The practised pro defends,
then finishes the fight
with sufficient aggression,
a single blow, thud to the solar plexus.
Bout follows bout, primordial demonstration.
We do not see a knockout.
The cry of “Who’ll take a glove?”
Enigmatic smile, promoter apprehends
what is needed: the sweet science