A blue balloon
Clipped to a black hoody
Trailing a slow running 9th grader
Teased a reticent runner
Into following along.
He took jabs and cross hooks
At the dancing balloon
Which slipped the punches
With a knuckleball bob and weave.
The round didn’t last three minutes
As the pugilistic player
Had not a puncher’s chance
And he got lost in the weight
Of oxygen debt,
Personal doubt, and
The realization of Rendell’s commentary
On the state of toughness
Seeping from our society.
Walking became his Rope-a-Dope,
Gasping for breath his Tyson mouthpiece moment,
And as a side stitch set into spasm
The young fighter, once barely a runner,
Showed the glass jaw quality of his meager endurance.