It was just my bad fortune
that Bert Sugar found me
punching the light bag
that lazy summer afternoon
after he'd returned from camp
with Sugar Ray or Joe Louis
himself, the other kids having
already left Police Boys Club
Number Ten where I was a
three-sport star at 105 pounds,
none of the sports involving
the clumsy boxing gloves Bert
made me put on to go a few
rounds with him, as he put it.
Poor Bert: overweight, not a gifted
athlete, and too often picked on
by bullies like Pete Chaconas, who
tried to drown him in the pool
at Central Junior High one day.
We danced around a bit, me tired
from a day's worth of play,
when suddenly Bert landed two
light left jabs, stinging me,
then whoom, he crossed with
a vicious right that landed on
my cheek, lifted me in the air,
and sent a curl of snot flying
as I fell leadenly on my back.
I didn't mind the vengeance so
evident in Bert's smirk, but his
incessant counting - "...thirty-one,
thirty-two, thirty-three..." -
irritated the hell out of me.
Bill Roberts lives in bucolic Broomfield, Colorado with an
energized wife and two spoiled dogs. Formerly, he was a nuclear
weapons expert who transmogrified into someone who wants to
eliminate all guns and WMD. His poems have appeared in over a
hundred small-press journals, including Bellowing Ark, Long
Story Short, Main Street Rag, Rattle, Slow Trains, and
Waterways, to name a few.