Doug Blair (April 6,1951 / London, Ontario, Canada)
I would see him at three thirty
On the street beneath my flat.
Kids would call him strange and dirty
Like a mouse plagued by stray cats.
And with head down for the homing,
He would breeze by all the jeers
And the shoves that might be coming.
(He looked older than his years.)
And the three or four who trailed him
Were a foul and yowling lot.
Would his fists and fire still fail him?
He was tall, and they were not.
He was dressed in robe and scull cap
And some hair curled by the jaws.
And his hope, to avoid mishap;
Like his people, like their laws.
But this time I held the answer,
Three strong nephews down the street.
And they knew the ones to watch for
And the pounding was so sweet.
But the lad just stood there quiet,
Giving out a soft complaint.
“Friends, there’s no need here for riot.
I will win them with restraint.”
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (Retaliation by Doug Blair )
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