Was it my fault that I took part
In a boxing bout?
Was it my fault that it turned out
Into a complete rout?
Now all is done, why not jut out
My broken jaw and carry
A cavalier smile on my swollen lips;
And why tarry
To rave how I stood out on that boxing night,
Like a huge promontory
While all around me the blows crashed down
Like sleet on an inclement night.
So what I got a stinging right,
I could take another;
So what I got a black eye,
I could bear another;
So what I rolled and pitched
With the ebb and flow
Of stinging lefts and staggering rights, like arrows
Out of a high strung bow.
So what the ground rolled out beneath my feet,
And I failed to rise;
So what I lost the bout,
I still got the best loser’s prize.
Note: The poem was written sometime in 1971 as a cadet at the Pakistan Naval Academy and was inspired by the inter-divisional boxing competition scheduled each term.