Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February 15: My Son the Wrestler, W. Todd Kaneko, "Chief Jay Strongbow Knows All About the Sleeper Hold"

I am trying to be supportive of my son's interest in wrestling.  I drop him off.  Pick him up.  Sometimes, I even venture into the gym where the practice is.  There's a lot of screaming, and the place stinks of sweat and, in my mind, a little fear.

It's something my son wants to do.  I have to support that, even though I would be much happier if he wanted to join a book club or something more in my wheelhouse.  My son is stretching me in directions that I never thought I'd stretch.

Saint Marty isn't really flexible.

Chief Jay Strongbow Knows All About the Sleeper Hold

by:  W. Todd Kaneko

Chief Jay Strongbow puts a man down working
a tight sleeper hold in the center of the ring.
That's how he appears in a black and white
photo from the 1970s, a memento
my father left in a cigar box.

But the old Indian could be mourning
for that man slackjawed and falling
limp to the canvas, chin snug in the crook
of Strongbow's elbow.  Their bodies
drawn close for that last moment,
a palm laid gentle across the forehead,
a final caress--Strongbow presses
his cheek against the man's crown
and howls at the agony of knowing
this is how a body feels as it grows
empty in his arms.  This is that snarl
yoking men to their skeletons,
that snarl entangling us all.
A man cannot contain another's life
in his arms no matter how hard
he squeezes.  He cannot know peace
without understanding all that pain
he inflicts on others.

1 comment:

  1. Are you ready to rumble!!!!

    Clearly not. Oh well, the joys of reproducing will continue to visit your home.