hosho mccreesh | champion jack dupree

Champion Jack Dupree

It was his fingers, finally,
that knew that deep hurt,
that ache deep in his skin.

So many years,
hands killing mosquitos at the
New Orleans Home for
Colored Waifs, hands burning
over hot griddles, or busted up in
two-bit leather gloves, hands that
knew triggers, and POW camps,
and the dark stain of barrelhouse wood.

Never much for drink or drug,
I think of him in Europe,
Bavaria maybe, taking a coffee
along side some dark blue lake,
mountains enough to hide the sun.

And just too many years gone by,
and just too much to take,
and no country he’d call his,
too many things, and so little to show,
clenching his fist, then releasing it,
clenching, releasing, trying to
get the years out, trying to
squeeze out that hurt,
one only an old champ
can know, trying to
quiet the angry
tremble of
his cup.

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