Sunday, May 16, 2010

In My Day

Footwork, first and foremost
Endless lines: advance, retreat
Minutia of how to pose the
Foot, hip, knee
A hundred lunges every day

Finally! Earned by dogged patience
The privilege to hold a blade and hit…
A target
Extend, recover
Aiming at the one square inch of center
Marked in tape
‘til it felt my arm would drop

My reward for battering the
Leather square into submission?
Drills! Two on two
Precise prescriptions
Parry, riposte:
Four six seven eight
Executed without deviation
Oooo! Exotica—a circle six for spice

Finally (by grace my patience held out that long)
A bout…

Look at this year’s crop:
Whacking at each other from the start
Blades like windmills
(reminding me of miniature golf)
Feet splay
Shoulders hunch
Butts stick out
Foils clutched like staves
Lunges like a bunny hop

I look at them and see…

Ungainly grace
Unconscious strategy, and

Maybe we could trade:
A little bit of my precision for
A bite of your
Naïve improvisation
Spit and shake—a deal

So, who comes out ahead?

1 comment:

  1. Who comes out ahead on a deal?!


    ...though they usually find that they gave more than they expected--much of the true cost comes after the purchase.