The Ghost Boxers
They come into the same arena,
the one that always unites them.
They are very familiar with one another,
and yet know nothing of who each other really is.
They are family by blood,
strangers in the ring,
ghosts to one another.
The ghost boxers have been at it for
twenty years, one superior to the other.
Is it because of age and knowledge or
because the less superior one feels
obedience and respect to the older boxer and
becomes the lesser opponent by default?
In the beginning it was hurtful, the
words that bruised the lesser opponent,
leaving scars to last a lifetime.
The longer the boxing goes on, the more
blurred the reason for the battle.
Who did this, who said that, selective hearing and
reading between the lines.
Now, time has passed and the ghost boxers have met again,
this time they hardly recognize one another.
Both older, both wiser, they circle the ring.
Avoidance is their dance of choice now.
The hate has taken its tole, the old and superior one
seems small and fragile.
The less superior has grown a spirit that is strong
and steady and is ready to leave the fighting behind.
There is no going back, there is no salve to repair the
years of scars. The superior one only dwells in the past,
the less superior sees only the future.
There is no middle ground.
Nothing has changed, they circle the ring, a dance
of ghost boxers ready to duck and step away from
Neither are winners,
Both are losers.
No sorrow, no apology, no effort to make amends,
the battle has come to a draw.
All they really have now is how they wished it could have been.
Cynthia DeRemer McDonald, 2013