he punched out early
the boss glared at him
the bus would take him to the west side of town
the fight was scheduled for ten rounds
he smoked his last cigarette
entered the banquet hall
a lopsided ring faced him
dilapidated folding chairs
he went to the changing room
his trainer taped his hands
gave him a rub down
said, "kid, you ain't made for this no more".
the trainer knew it
so did the fighter
he was on the card early
he was fighting a young terrier
he was cut up badly by the 4th round.
he was knocked down in the 8th.
he kept getting up
the trainer told him to stay down
they booed the fight
they threw garbage at the old fighter
he finished the fight standing up
he lost the decision
his take was fifty-bucks
no-one stayed to talk to him
it wasn't like this in the old days
he bought some smokes at the liquor store
jumped a bus to connely's bar
some old whore said, "what happened to you?
"yer face looks like it ran into a train!"
the crowd laughed and so did he
the fighter closed the joint
but he bought a round for the house
he went home and soaked in a hot tub
he was drunk
he was happy there was no work tomorrow
he was happy for the extra fifty bucks
he plugged in the space heater
he dreamt of the old days.