Perhaps it is the fact that here in Australia, it's Fathers Day coming up. I was browsing through Ella's Pages for something completely different this morning and found myself scrolling through the various poems I've gathered (I wish there were more on there, one day there will be) and was absent-mindedly reading some of the words, wondering how I will incorporate them into their new home, which I mentioned briefly in a previous post.
And I came across this one. I feel like I've been kicked in the stomach with a heavy boot for some reason. Just as I did the first time I read this poem, again I am deeply touched on a very hidden and confused and somehow alien level, for the pain that men feel (but often are not allowed to even attempt to explore, let alone surface safely). It is a crime against humanity.
Men Do Cry
I heard quite often "men don't cry"
though no one ever told me why.
So when I fell and skinned a knee,
no one came by to comfort me.
And when some bully-boy at school
would pull a prank so mean and cruel,
I'd quickly learn to turn and quip,
"It doesn't hurt," and bite my lip.
So as I grew to reasoned years,
I learned to stifle any tears.
Though "Be a big boy" it began,
quite soon I learned to "Be a man."
And I could play that stoic role
while storm and tempest wracked my soul.
No pain or setback, could there be
could wrest one single tear from me.
Then one long night, I stood nearby
and helplessly watched my son die.
And quickly found, to my surprise,
that all that tearless talk was lies.
And still I cry, and have no shame.
I cannot play that "big boy" game.
And openly, without remorse,
I let my sorrow take its course.
So those of you who can't abide
a man you've seen, who's often cried,
reach out to him with all your heart
as one whose life's been torn apart.
For men DO cry when they can see
their loss of immortality.
And tears will come in endless streams
when mindless fate destroys their dreams.
by Ken Falk