The Fighter -
By Marylou Falstreau
I am a fighter He said
and there was no denying
the image conjured up.
Broken chin, broken tooth, broken heart
He didn’t even know what had hit him
which was the point of it all
We drove to San Francisco and gathered him up
beaten into submission
He lived on our couch for a while.
We fed him hot soup, smoothies and love
And held our breath
unaware that we were breathless
Reeling from the open wound
He was raw and vulnerable
This man-child revealed
as the fighter.
The couch still holds his scent
I love this
His memory is imprinted on sun bleached denim
Curled up in a fetal position
so soft he was able to be held for awhile.
It’s my memory.
I hold it dear and loosely to save room
for more memories.
Back home now
he walks on glass through streets of the tenderloin
Opening doors down dark pathways
Revisits his ancient themes and writes them down
on moleskin pads.
Sad, courageous, rebellious
He draws close with one hand
And pushes away with the other.
A lover and fighter at the same time.
When I first knew him he wore Superman Underoos
Three feet tall with a capital “S”
emblazoned on his chest.
He charged through his days and my life
Powerful love that he was.
His style has changed
He wears black and blue now
with a Cambodian woman and a gun emblazoned on his chest
a cell phone in his pocket
making the statement that he always has something to say
Underneath it all
Peeling away layer after layer
He is stripped down to bare skin and bones.
No one knows this but me.
I see him for who he is
A walking bill-board of humanity
Cracking mirrors of illusion
So the light can seep in.
A reflection of the pain in us all
In himself for sure.
Angels and ancients surround him
And whisper truths in his ear
He has been obedient to the call.
Reckless, Courageous, Angry lover
I am a fighter he said.
And he is still a fighter
But now he is fighting for truth and light