he was tough,

he was,
and he was also
a good six inches taller than me,

but i caught him
off guard when i lunged at him

on the
bus stop after school.

we were maybe 17,
and he’d already been scouted by the Mets,

so that should
tell you how big he was,

like i said,
i caught him off guard
and smothered him in punches

and pushed him
up against the side of the bus

and kept on punching
until he said he had enough.

and i stood back,
with sweat and tears and
dirt and snot running down my face,

and i
walked onto the bus
feeling a good six feet taller

than i actually was.

when i
got to my seat
and looked out the window

the creepy
son of a bitch
was still on the ground,
with his blonde hair covered in dirt

and a
great big
surprised look on his face.

he never made it to the Mets

and i
never won
another fight again.

Image Credit:Dan Burton

In a career spanning more than 50 years as a working writer, John Yamrus has published 26 volumes of poetry, 2 novels, 3 volumes of non-fiction and a children’s book. He has also had more than 2,000 poems published in magazines and anthologies around the world. Selections of his work have been translated into several languages, including Spanish, Swedish, French, Japanese, Italian, Romanian, Albanian, Estonian and Bengali. His poetry is taught in numerous colleges and universities. His website is: