Blackbird Bare-Knuckle Boxing Timothy Kercher Poetry

local_library Blackbird Bare-Knuckle Boxing

by Timothy Kercher

Published in Issue No. 236 ~ January, 2017

I don’t know how I know

the blackbird on the front lawn

is thinking, I’ll take on the world with no

padding in my gloves, but I do, and know

I couldn’t do that. To bare-knuckle life

is a death sentence. The blackbird isn’t

thinking straight, says a grey-bearded man

standing in his corner, but I won’t listen

because he’s trying to make my yard

into something it is not. This is not a damn

boxing ring, I yell. I don’t believe in

fighting! But a blackbird is no raven

and on the tip of each wing

he wears boxing gloves, and it’s obvious

to all in attendance that the gloves

have no padding. Hey blackbird,

where’s the feathers to soften to blow?

asks the referee. The blackbird

points his beak to the feathers

on his wings, on his chest, on his tail.

Hollow bones! yells another old man

standing behind the ropes with a towel

draped over his shoulder. If the world

hits my bird, he’s a goner for sure.

And here I am in my own front yard,

watching a blackbird take on the world

unfairly. I want nothing of this fight.

I just mowed the lawn today.

I’ve got my own battles.

This yard is not for boxing.

And I could use

some feathers of my own!