Manhood

Boys talk about fighting.
Men fight.
A real man will not hurt another person
without having been hurt himself
and when he does hurt another
he will recognize the hurt he’s caused himself
and his family
and the world
and he will carry the hurt with him

Forever.

Boys talk about fighting
and nobility
and honor
as if they go together
rather than
being a tiny trickle
in a great ocean.

Honor is not angry
nobility is not strong
I’ve learned how to recognize
the boys,
as I’ve grown up myself
and left my boy, to walk with me

Behind.
Always a reminder and playmate,
Seldom the leader.

Boys, you boys, you silly boys,
there is nothing wrong with boys
the only problem is the monster
who strangles the boy
with the noose of his father.

Boys will be boys.
There is no escape,
because they must.
The only question is
who will step in,
not to proclaim boyhood
and point,
but to demonstrate manhood,
so the boys can find
the only way,

ever.

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