Bogdan Dragos

December 08, 1992

no poem, no poetic justice

He kept coming back
That was his only skill

Respect is not something you can possibly
be born with. The children of
kings and lords
should know this
but most don't

Though this kid who kept coming back
he was no one's son
A vagabond
His body bony in all places
no meat
under the skin

A skin that had all the colors
from pale to yellow to blue to
crimson to pitch black
dirty
scarred
sore
and something that looked
like bone peeking out of tissue

He got beat up every time he came to the
fighting pit behind the tavern

Never won a fight against
those well-fed, bulky sons of farmers
and blacksmiths and butchers
with puffy arms and wide napes

They fought mostly for respect
and the money was a side prize
But the bony boy
came only for the money
and he never got any
But he never begged in the marketplace either

The bony boy had
a pride about him
a pride that never left until the day
he could no longer stand in the fighting pit
after that fatal blow
It wasn't even that much of a strong hit
but his neck was so weak
it snapped

And they gathered in a circle
around him
mute
and stared

stared until their backs felt brushed,
shoved to the side by a pair of
hands weaker even than the bony boy's
Softer

"That's his little sister,"
someone said as they all moved
aside and let her reach the
bony boy,
crying

"So it's her that he fought for
all this time."

"Yes."

"And he kept coming back
every time."

"Yes."

"Insane."

"Wah, respect for the little guy."

"You know what, boys,
I think we should do it.
Give the little girl the prize money."

"Yeah."

"Though this ain't no fantasy land
and no poem.
So, no poem, no poetic justice.
We'll give the girl the prize money alright,
but she'll have to earn it.
Hopefully doing a better job than
her brother."

"Yeah, girl, just like your brother,
come back every time you need money.
Unlike him
you'll get it.
You really will."

"Right, now off with those
rags and let your fight begin.
I'll go first."




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