This poem is taken from Stand 225, 18(1) March - May 2020.

Kevin King TKO, ICU
TKO, ICU

     ‘Could the answer be that the more elemental we become
     in sport and art, the closer to the spiritual we get?’
                                                                  — Gene Tunney

The day before my son was born I packed
my duct-taped gloves to spar for the last time
and discovered among my gear his hat.

It was the size of a large fist.  
And so I put it on mine.
Cosied it up.  And saw stars.

Something about the diminutive cotton cap
demanded delicacy and care beyond
the imagination of a gauze-wrapped gloved fist.

Twelve hours later at the ICU, a head start into the elemental—
electrodes constellating our son’s skull and chest
connect to the intensive-care version

of an electronic round-bell that periodically
misreads his relaxation as not respiring, and misfires,
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