practice

in that depression neighborhood I had two buddies
Eugene and Frank
and   I had wild fist fights with each of
them
once or twice a week.
the fights lasted 3 or 4 hours and we came out
with
smashed noses, fattened lips, black eyes, sprained
wrists, bruised knuckles, purple
welts.

our parents said nothing, let us fight on and
on
watching disinterestedly and
finally going back to their newspapers
or their radios or their thwarted sex lives,
they only became angry if we tore or   ruined our
clothing, and for that and only for that.

but Eugene and Frank and I
we had some good work-outs
we rumbled through the evenings, crashing through
hedges, fighting along the asphalt, over the
curbings and into strange front and backyards of
unknown homes, the dogs barking, the people screaming at
us.
we were
maniacal, we never quit until the call for supper
which none of us could afford to
miss.

anyhow, Eugene became a Commander in the
Navy and Frank became a Supreme Court Justice, State of
California and I fiddled with the
poem.

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