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Dead 18 Aug 2008 at 81

I was just a boy
when I first saw you
inside our old Philco.


A mass of a man in tights,
and a skullcap which
put a bolt of lightning
on the center of your forehead.
You had a chin like a Buick.


I loved to watch you
storm yourself around
the roped ring,
stalking that other man,
then plowing him
face first to the floor.


Oh yes, I grimaced, knowing
what was coming.
The dreaded Claw Hold.
Mashing your great fingers
into his doughy gut, twisting
until the contest was finished.


There was that day at
The Montreal Forum in ’54,
where you faced down Yukon Eric
and earned your name.


Walter, you never killed anyone.
But no one had ever seen
a man’s ear ripped from his head,
and sent flying through the air,
quite like that.