Savages


It was fantastic, the day
he came out to play,
sporting a welt
on the eye and the brow,
and he told the tale of his dad and how
he drunkenly swung his B,B, belt,
and of how the brass of the old belt buckle
smacked harder and sharper
than fleshy knuckles.

And we, his chums would gather and pore
and prod and poke at the reddening sore.
We were dab hands at war wounds,
experts on cuts, knew that the hours
would force the eye shut.
With luck we hoped we’d soon get pus
or a loosening scab to be picked on by us.

But it still was a marvel, the way it appeared
how men worked their magic,
how boys masked their fears.
Thank god we were savages
and wild-eyed with wonder
and fit for the ravages
chucked by male thunder.

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7 thoughts on “Savages

  1. Liked this very much: the faint irony, the wildness, the way they scrutinized the wound and made it theirs. And the lines so comfortably structured. Also how you played down the cruel side of it, but didn’t hide it.

    • Unfortunately, a true story this, …but wanted to get the tone right, so tried to give it a nursery rhyme feel and try to catch how we, as kids, were animal enough to adapt through the brutishness.

  2. There is an undeniable fascination with braving a wound or scrutinizing the deeper layers of tender flesh. One can be quite objective about pus and scabs, the complimentary bruised fading of purple to yellow … if still on ones feet. You put this together so well….kind of an epic ode

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