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Monday, September 02, 2019


by Phyllis Wax

Frenzied spectators
shoulder to shoulder
in the stadium, the coliseum,                                            
Hit ‘em again,
harder, harder.
                        Blood sport—
gleaming helmets, shields,
spears, fists, muscled strong-men,
beasts—and the roar
harder, harder.

Pass flasks,
stomp, stomp
in togas
or in team jerseys.
Hit ‘em again.

Week after week
spectators demand            
extreme combat,
harder, harder,
aggression no armor
protects against.                              

Combatants exit arenas    
to cheers    or jeers,
sometimes bloodied, limping
to reap the whirlwind years ahead
                        through     a        fog

Monday nights, in front of the
flickering lights, I think about it.

Phyllis Wax writes in Milwaukee on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.  Among the anthologies and journals in which her poetry has appeared are Rhino, The Widows’ Handbook,Birdsong, Spillway, Peacock Journal, Surreal Poetics, Naugatuck River Review, TheNewVerse.News, Portside, and Star 82 Review. She does not watch football or boxing. Reach her at poetwax38(at)