DARK TRADE

I’m standing still and silent                                                                                                                All dressed in black                                                                                                                              on a wet and windy day                                                                                                                   Staring at a pine box                                                                                                                        Been lowered into a hole                                                                                                                     six feet deep

Two weeks ago                                                                                                                                    You were in a heap                                                                                                                              and you never moved from that position

Yet the decision                                                                                                                                      to send you out                                                                                                                                         for that final round                                                                                                                      appeared correct

If only we’d known                                                                                                                               the effect                                                                                                                                                  of what was about to occur

You and your foe                                                                                                                                    left your respective corners                                                                                                               Bodies both scarred                                                                                                                         Your faces were as red                                                                                                                              as a schoolboy’s homework                                                                                                                  after it’s been marked

But he came out looking the stronger                                                                                          while you were on legs like stilts                                                                                                     and were close to collapsing at any moment

He threw one punch                                                                                                                       Snapped your head back                                                                                                            Second punch                                                                                                                                  Forced you to the ropes

And the last thing you would ever see                                                                                               is that third punch

You didn’t feel it                                                                                                                                   nor hear its connecting sound                                                                                                       Instead you went down                                                                                                           Engulfed in a black cloud

And you never woke up

Following week,                                                                                                                                     see headlines galore                                                                                                                                  ‘BOXER IN COMA’                                                                                                                                 ‘Pray God – let him live’

Yet not long ago                                                                                                                                    We watched you go to war                                                                                                                and we cheered at the theatre created by every punch

So now the outcome’s not to our satisfaction                                                                                 Instead of praising this noble art                                                                                                      We preach its abolition

But better death in the ring than by a needle in the arm                                                             Or as part of a gang causing people harm                                                                                        Or getting send down for GBH                                                                                                   Boxing got rid of your anger, your hate

You were full of spite, indisciplined                                                                                                                                                   A very unruly lad                                                                                                                                       But boxing helped you develop                                                                                                            from a boy into a man

It improved your concentration                                                                                                      and helped with your focus                                                                                                                   It gave your life some meaning                                                                                                        hope and a purpose

And though you’re not near                                                                                                          friends and family any longer                                                                                                             In the ring you showed your real self                                                                                            your heart, your courage and valour

Boxing may be the reason                                                                                                                      I’m at your grave today                                                                                                                         But it gave you far more in life                                                                                                               than it ever took away

I stand here still and silent

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