Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Boxer

I am just a poor boy.
Though my story's seldom told,
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocketful of mumbles.
Such are promises:
All lies and jest.
Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest.

When I left my home
And my family,
I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station,
Running scared.
Laying low,
Seeking out the poorer quarters
Where the ragged people go,
Looking for the places
Only they would know.

Asking only workman's wages
I come looking for a job,
But I get no offers,
Just a come-on from the whores
On Seventh Avenue.
I do declare,
There were times when I was so
I took some comfort there.

Then I'm laying out my winter clothes
And wishing I was gone,
Going home,
Where the New York City winters
Aren't bleeding me,
Leading me,
Going home.

In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade.
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
"I am leaving, I am leaving."
But the fighter still remains.

I don't think my parents will ever understand how important it is that they introduced me to "their" music, let me play the albums on repeat, analyzed the lyrics with me, discussed the time period with me. I cringe when I look at my Timehop and see lyrics posted as cryptic statuses on Facebook, but those lyrics are what saved me. I can be sad, anxious, depressed, suicidal, angry, everything bad, but this music will always be here. If it got me through those feelings so many years ago when I first heard it, then I know, no matter how bad I feel, it can get me through it again.

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