I am a child soldier and I have never seen
The plains of Africa. My battlefields are
The living rooms of tired tenement blocks,
And semi-detached houses everywhere.
I stare out across carpets and see shrapnel
Of smashed teacups and photo frames.
Scratched records spin endlessly round
‘Singing bye-bye Miss American Pie.’
I protect the Angel an embattled old soul
Who holds aloft her bottle of Martini
Like Joan of Arc, & sings the blues like
Billie Holiday. Cigarette smoke twirling.
And you my sodden father. Drunken old
Teacher. Zen master with war-weary tales.
Your tears and spit would often mix into the
Palms of your hands.
Don’t you know the Queensberry rules?
She can’t dance like a butterfly, but you
Sure sting like a bee. And now the whole
World to me is Joe Frazier. And I am