Too Hurt Not To

June 18, 2008 § 1 Comment

My dad was a boxer and all his brothers,
skinny angry boys in shorts. The weddings
we went to, there was always a fight.

We’d sprint and jostle to get as near to
the bite as possible; the sweat and heave
of it. Nothing as sweet to the ear

as the sound of leather punching on jaw
or chest and the hit him, hit him,
sprayed with spit and sweat and blood.

A blue face proud and cut. The air thick
with market perfume. Men too poor to back down,
too hurt not to. That’s what I’m homesick for:

my dead dad, and his thin brothers. My mum
has seen all five of them in the grave.
No hand strong enough to punch that away.

Copyright Naomi Woddis 2008

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