The Martial Artist’s Funeral

Linda reading:

Thugs with flowers came.
There’s no other way to put it.
You know, guys with thick necks,
leather coats and dreadlocks—
lads with tattoos, earrings, shaved heads—
bouncers with barrel chests
and arms which hung down,
gorilla-style, away from their bodies—
muscle-bound, their shoulders tight,
just plain bloody strong.

These hard men with flowers,
stood in the drizzle and talked
about the man they’d loved.
He had taught each one of them
how to let the punches pass.
It was simple really— block, then step aside.
These men together, damp from the rain
and the sweat of a thousand years of training,
put their flowers down and stepped straight in
before they lifted and shouldered the box.