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He Bows, Walks Off the Mat

07.03.19 Posted in today's words by

Rosalind Kaliden’s most recent poem to appear here was “Tenacity” (May 2019).

He Bows, Walks Off the Mat
By Rosalind Kaliden

Robert, at five, stands
in white pants and kimono,
the ends of the knotted belt
spread in two directions
like a snake’s tongue.

His right and left fists
toggle the air.
Straight, form, balance, sir!
Future, black, belt, sir!
With all the focus
of a mongoose after a cobra,
with the mask of the snow owl,
and the steel of the ballet dancer.

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