First Strike

Maxwell Hensler, Contributor

A boy swelters in a sauna 

He sits there in more than he needs to cover him

A face all smeared 

In sweat and Vaseline

He breathes trying to keep conscious

His body is on fire. Yet he shivers.

He’ll have to get back on the bike soon, soon,

Around the canvas he stumbles 

First strike. The very first strike.

The first strike that brings him back to life

Heavy sweat pours from his cheeks—

The first strike of camp complete