It’s not a weight you hear of much today
in fighting, since they closed up all the booths.
Gone like a day’s work, or an old folk song.
Once, amid the gaslights, Lonsdale Champions and
mahogany drawers full of dead butterflies
he’d netted and collected as a boy,
he smoked in pubs and learned the local songs.
Now he sits and waits for me to come;
To listen to his stories, make his tea
and hear about the gradual decline
from fast enough his fist blew out the lamps
to faculties eroded by some other folk process.
The morning came, we went to see a football match,
he could not sing, and twice, forgot my name.