He danced like
A butterfly
And stung
Like a bee,
To those who
Stood in
The ring
With him,
And those
Who tried
To hold him
Down as
A man of colour
And a person of faith.

But then
A greater force
Blocked his way:
The opponent of
His own body
That came into
His ring
And hit him
With unseen gloves
And with a tenacity
That made
His boxing days
Seem like
A friendly sparring

And in all this
Fighting and surviving
Ali stood singular
And tall,
Never perfect,
But always resolved
To be a man
Of courage
In the face of the
Seemingly difficult
As the greatest
Of all.