Now his nose’s bridge is broken, one eye
will not focus and the other is a stray;
trainers whisper in his mouth while one ear
listens to itself, clenched like a fist;
generally shadowboxing in a smoky room,
his mind hides like the aching boys
who lost a contest in the Panhellenic games
and had to take the back roads home,
but someone else, his perfect youth,
laureled in newsprint and dollar bills,
triumphs forever on the great white way
to the statistical Sparta of the champs.
Alan Dugan, “On Hurricane Jackson” from Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry. Copyright © 2001 by Alan Dugan. Reprinted by permission of Seven Stories Press.
Source: Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry
(Seven Stories Press, 2001)