It’s late and I’m already half gone when my son walks in and sits on the edge of the bed with his laptop. He tilts the screen my way and asks if I recognize either of the guys in frame. As soon as my eyes focus on his computer, I let out a laugh and tell him he’s going to really dig this one. Both these cats have HEAVY hands. The heaviest, actually. The big angry-looking dude is Ron Lyle. The bigger dude with no expression at all is prime George Foreman. I’m a little shocked he’s landed on such a great fight by dumb luck, and wish I had it in me to watch every round with him. He’s been watching old boxing matches on YouTube every night, and I love his reactions to all the fights I lived through with my old man. But it’s too late for all that on this night, and I know too well how one round always leads to another. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I keep to myself how many times he’ll see these men knock each other down before this one ends, how it’ll go back and forth like a pro wrestling match, up and down the ropes, one end of the ring to the other. I’m going to let him figure out by himself what there is to learn from watching these men fall down and stand back up over and again until all the heavy has its way.
Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. Jack’s work has appeared in Southern Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Pidgeonholes, The Shore, HAD, Okay Donkey, EcoTheo, The Hopper, Terrain, saltfront, and other journals. His latest collection is Against the Woods’ Dark Trunks (Mercer University Press, 2022). He served as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.
image: Ashley Beresch. Check out more of her work on Instagram @ashleyberesch