‘Lowell’s Irish Micky Ward’

With all “The Fighter” buzz, this is a good time re-run Tom Sexton’s poem about the local boxing legend. One of the best things about a good poem is how it stands up to repeated readings or listenings. Maybe Tom should do an audio recording of his Lowell poems. People would enjoy hearing the poems in his voice.—PM


Lowell’s Irish Micky Ward


Round 2. Ward’s left eye is already cut,

but he keeps moving toward Arturo Gatti.

My wife’s gone to bed and turned out the light.

Gatti’s left hook sounds like a thunderclap.

I haven’t watched a fight in many years,

not since moving away from Lowell.

A Celtic Cross glistens on Ward’s shoulder.

I wince as he shakes off blow after blow.

He has my uncle Leo’s fighter’s face,

with features almost as flat as a stone.

Staggered by a right, he picks up the pace.

I want to see a hurt Gatti go down.

They fight to a draw. Closed eye for closed eye.

I go to bed shamefaced and stubbornly tribal.


—Tom Sexton (c) 2007, from “A Clock with No Hands” (Adastra Press)

2 Responses to ‘Lowell’s Irish Micky Ward’

  1. Robert Hayes says:

    Do you happen to know how to get in touch with Tom Sexton? I’d like to bring him in for a poetry reading at my library. Thanks!

  2. PaulM says:

    Tom is in Alaska for a while, but will be coming back to Maine either later this year or next spring. His new book of Lowell poems will be published by Loom Press in June. Watch for news about the book, “Bridge Street at Dusk,” on this website.