The Swordsman

As he stepped into his vest he changed into the best
     He had to offer to us kids he trained
          For yesterday – and yet
               I wonder if that best of yesterday
                   Is yet that something which
                        We look and long for
                              Even yet –

His eyes grew narrow, hair slicked back
     A noble streak – straight poised to be
          Right ready too – his features free
              Conquistador arose – as he
                   His place took up
                        To noble be
                             For two short hours
                                  First him and me.

His foil held loose with fingers so –
     He played with me – as toe to toe
          We thrust and parried
               Lunged fell back
                    And watched for openings –
                         Quick of hand he moved
                              First up, then down, and in
                                  A hit –
                                       Good point!

The other, older, picked it up
     Salute of friendship’s wave he threw
          Then forward shuffled to his foe
               As foils clashed
                    Then stopped to show
                         New ways to move
                              Shift arms with grace
                                   And keep all flexible
                                        In place.

Then at the end a free for all
     We fencers circled round the hall
          Like Pirates daring on he Main
              We fought for laughing gold again
                    Then pressed on forward to the prize
                         It seized, retreated for our lives –
                              Our foe with us sat not forlorn
                                   As we all shared
                                        The chocolate coin.