Thursday, 22 November 2012
Pippa Roberts, Cheltenham: Poetry for Children (or Parents?) Louisa, the Boxer
Well folks, I promised a blog post and it's nearly one am, so I'm going to paste a poem. Here's Louisa, the Boxer, which I wrote some time ago. It's always popular at readings. Enjoy!
Louisa, the Boxer
A little girl was bright and strong;
Feisty, fisty all day long;
Her father, he was very proud:
He went round boasting, very loud,
'She'd make a boxer, our Louise.
She drives the fella's to their knees!'
She played with friends, on normal days,
And kept up with the latest craze:
It was good fun; they never fought,
They hardly had a nasty thought.
But then a gang of bullies came
And threatened them, and spoiled their game.
These bullies jeered and grabbed their wrists,
And squeezed at them, with vicious twists;
They pushed them forwards, so they fell,
And, with small tortures, made life hell.
Louisa danced upon her toes
And hit a bully on the nose.
She dodged and dived, and gave a shout
And punched and punched, and swerved about,
Till all the bullies ran away
And left those little ones to play.
Louise became their hero then,
They shouted, yelled and cheered her on,
But then a dreadful deed was done
That knocked her out and frightened them.
A bully smashed her on the head
And for a while she seemed quite dead.
And when she got up from the floor
She wasn't feisty any more:
She was the silent, solemn sort
Who made her bed and never fought,
She did the cleaning, washed the clothes
And never danced upon her toes;
She never sang and never screamed
And never lived and never dreamed.
Until one day she saw that lad
Who'd knocked her down and smashed her head:
A sudden impulse made her rise
And go to glare into his eyes.
He trembled, I can tell you that;
The nasty sneaky little rat!
He'd hit her when she was quite small
But now she'd grown and she was TALL!
He said, 'I am a nice man now,'
She knew he lied, and punched him, POW!
And as he lay upon the floor
She felt surprise, and then she saw
Her fist was strong and steady still:
She only lacked a boxer's skill.
And now her strength had all come back
She longed to punch and kick and smack.
Life was too calm for such a girl,
She loved to fight and twist and whirl!
Her father still was very proud
And boasted long and boasted loud,
'You'd make a boxer, our Louise,
You'd still drive fella's to their knees!'
She started boxing in the gym
With sparring partners, Jack and Tim.
She bought a punchbag and she asked
For a speedball; light and fast:
She found some gloves, which made her fists
Look huge and black upon her wrists.
She learnt to jab; she learnt to hook;
She learnt each move that's in the book;
She learned to sense things in her gut
And learnt to make an upper cut.
Once she was dealt a 'rabbit punch':
Her neck did twist; her spine did crunch,
But still she rose above the pain
And went right back, to fight again.
Other fouls might knock her down
But she fought clean and held her ground.
'Street fighters' fought an angry game:
She matched their skill and did the same.
She grew more skilled with every bout
And soon no one could knock her out.
Louise was glad she had grown tall
For now, as champ, she beat them all!
* * *
One day Louisa met her match,
She biffed and biffed, and he biffed back.
His skill was equal to her own;
She liked the game, though neither won.
One day she met him in the street
And nearly biffed him, but his feet
Dodged quickly, and his fingers caught
Her hand, and held her as she fought.
She was enraged, and scowled and spit:
He didn’t seem to mind a bit.
He smiled at her; a lovely smile,
And said, ‘Louise, I like your style.
‘I like your moves; I like your walk;
Could we just stop a while and talk?
He let her go, but she looked grim
And scowled and grimaced back at him.
He shrugged and grimaced back, ‘OK,
Forget it then: I’ll go away.’
Louisa dodged a little more
And punched the air, and kicked the floor.
‘I don’t talk: I fight,’ she said.
‘I think we need to talk,’ he said.
She talked and talked, for years and years,
And as she talked she told the fears
That made her youth and childhood grim:
He said it all made sense to him.
His life had been a hard one too,
He’d been hurt, but he’d come through.
Next thing the papers blazed the news,
‘Louisa married! Gone on cruise!’
Louisa’s picture smiled, at ease
And strong, but with a hint of tease
In her blue eyes. I’m told they sailed away
And, I don’t know, but some do say,
That the pair who fought off sharks
And steered the ship through foreign parts:
And shot a bear that grabbed a child
When they were anchored in the wild,
And wrestled with a wolf, and won,
Were our Louisa and her man.
All I can say, for certain sure
Is that they loved for ever more.