By Jack B. Bedell
My sons ask me
to put on the blue mask
with the white leather
phoenix stretched across its eye holes.
As soon as I tighten the laces
I am Mil Máscaras,
a man with a thousand
holds in my arsenal. I do not need
a partner to face down their tag team,
only a constant glide
from suplex to boston crab
to standing test of strength
with fingers intertwined
and wrists cocked toward
submission. No time for breath,
no mocking celebration, no
Inside this circle, I am
the people’s champion, a bronze,
oiled tower of power. This is what my sons
have called down upon themselves,
bringer of pain
from parts unknown.
Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. His latest collections are Elliptic (Yellow Flag Press, 2016), Revenant (Blue Horse Press, 2016), and No Brother, This Storm (Mercer University Press, fall 2018). He has recently been appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to serve as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.