Leading with my chin
As an old man now, I aspire
to be somebody who can take a punch –
not a speed bag’s wobbly pummeling,
mind you, but a stolid heavy bag full of grit,
eye-bolted solidly through a ceiling beam
and not in some gymnasium for anyone
to try but maybe a garage or cellar,
collecting dust in the corner but still intact.
Somebody who can take a punch if need be
and absorb the blow from any angle,
any adversary and not be moved
more than an inch or two off dead center,
returning quickly to a perfect plumbness.
I’d be going through life then leading with my chin,
not from haughtiness or spunk
but with poise and a quiet faith,
bearing the blows of whatever
rough-housing opponents may cross my path.
To be somebody who can take a punch,
take a punch, take a punch and not hit back.
O child of God, aspire to the love that allows
an innocent man to turn his cheek for just one more.