backing down–
that’s my go-to
done it for years
became a habit
others noticed–
took advantage
laughter in their eyes
claws instead of fingertips
the more you let them away with
the further down they push you
lose your footing, falling back
into the mud and shit
covered, head to toe
try to get back up,
you slip
knew all this–
backed down anyway
turning the other cheek 
and all that
mastered backing up, too
minimizing the direct assault
by putting distance between
my muddy self and them
also learned to back out–
texting is great for canceling–
not showing up gives 
a certain satisfaction
but, perhaps, it is past time
i cleared the board–reset
my default position
throw some others in the
fucking mud for a change
smear it in their faces
they deserve it–
truly, they do
but, you know what
that ain’t me
not going to do it
they can knock me off my feet
a million billion times,
in time, i will rise,
dust off my denims,
and keep going
that, as far as i am concerned
makes me the winner.