The Boxer

Photo credit: Jamie Johnson

They called her a tinker

They ripped her, a slag

Ducked, gloves up

Eyes on the bag

Her home is fire

Smoke through worn teeth

Black eyes, deep blue, protected beneath.

Devil’s donnybrook

Brawled and rucked

She earned her stripes

Entangled still

They called her a pike

Grabbed helpless under man’s thumb and hand

Not charity for leeches on government land

Failed false by the system, denied

Held back again by a thin blue line.

This is a poem written from a prompt from:

The word was “Tinker”. Tinker has a different connotation in Ireland than it tends to have in the US. I worked with students in the Traveller community, teaching literacy in college, it was an eye opening experience to see the level of bigotry that they face.


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