The Million Dollar Man 

On a blazing Saturday afternoon in July, 

Ted Dibiase paid the lifeguard 

at the public pool to kick the kids out 

so he could have it all to himself, 

even though he had his own pool 

in the backyard of his mansion. 

When he was a boy, he wasn’t 

a millionaire, and his mom and dad 

weren’t millionaires either. 

For dessert they ate rice with honey. 

The first time he went to the pool 

at the park alone, the older boys 

dunked him over and over. 

The parents told them to quit 

but didn’t make them. The last time 

they dunked him, they held him under 

until he breathed water through his nose, 

and when they finally let him up, 

he couldn’t stop choking. 

The parents yelled but didn’t move 

from the metal chairs with vinyl strips. 

Teddy got to the WWF but 

couldn’t win the big gold belt— 

the boys were too big—so 

he made his own out of diamonds. 

Sometimes he imagines going 

back to the pool at the park 

with the older boys still there, still kids, 

and busting them up with it.