Poem 27 is a day late and a dollar short, as the say. Lifelong friend Kenny H. offered up this next beaut. It goes back to our boyhood trials and tribulations. What those consisted of, I’m not quite sure, but they seemed large at the time. Luckily, life has shown me the humor of the ways of youth. Yes, they were important times full of stretching moments that seemed to last forever. Sometimes, it doesn’t even seem like they really happened. A toast to the fresh faces we were, and the well aged faces we’ve become.
“I offer you out!”
When we were kids,
long, long ago,
and honor was defied.
An offering made,
to incite a bout,
was how we recouped pride.
Gather, gather, all around.
Schoolyard toughs, and bullies, too,
had plans to kick some asses.
The only recourse for fighting fair,
resided in a challenge.
Showing bravado to all those near,
allowed for lesser carnage.
Mano y mano was the claim,
that rung forth with each fight.
Never really mattered which corner was in the right.
Perceived slights and grievances,
allowed for a blank check.
It all came down to rule of law.
and missing teeth regrets.
The shouting began,
and threats escaped their lips,
“I offer you out! Do you accept?”
“I do, you fuckin shit!”
A time and place agreed upon,
the tension began to build.
The last school bell released the mob,
They marched up Bunker Hill.
Combatants started dancing,
scared to see who was the less.
The crowd jeered each despite themselves,
hoping for bloodshed.
The real meat of the thing,
happened in the shoving.
Hands on chests, elbows pressed,
aggression quickly doubling.
The shirts came off, the nails did carve,
It finally came to blows.
As a matter of course, one punch landed,
and broke a poor soul’s nose.
The crowd moved in, they’ve had enough.
Time’s come to break it up.
One last burst from spent fighters.
And just like that it’s done.
Time has shown, later on,
that the ones exchanging blows,
Weirdly formed a lifelong bond,
Forged in youthful combat throes.