We stood facing off at the edge of the ring,
Preparing ourselves for the fight,
I felt the excitement I usually feel,
You must have felt something wasn’t quite right.
It took me a while to notice,
But then when you dealt the first blow,
I was taken aback; no, not by the impact,
But your tears that had started to flow.
I assured you that I was not hurting,
I said I was fine to keep going.
You needed a minute to settle yourself,
Then I felt how unsettled I was growing.
We continued the bout when you came back,
But I’d lost my mindset by then,
I could think only of how you were feeling,
Before you attacked me again.
This time you kicked with less mercy,
I too preoccupied to deflect.
With a sting in my side, which I tried hard to hide,
We bowed out as friends; with respect.
I know I have learned several lessons,
Taken some hard knocks I still feel.
But I need to be able to hold it together,
Because one day this fight may be real.