Poem of the Week, by Danez Smith

My new poems podcast, Words by Winter, can be found here.

D11E1B29-F92F-4FBA-B4E3-866135CE8A9F_1_105_cSometimes I feel so sad for men. All the unspoken rules. All the ways our culture tries to train boys out of their openness, their gentleness, their human need for hugs and touch. I think of the multiple men I know who have told no one but me the ways they were sexually abused as children. I think of my giant of a father, and the look on his face when he told me how his mother used to scream at him when he was little. I think of all the men I know who depend on the women they love to translate the world of emotion for them, to navigate the nuances of relationships. I think of how sex sometimes seems the only acceptable way for a man to give and receive physical affection, the only time they can let down their guard.

Lifelong fierce feminist that I am, I think of all the bright, tender little boys I know, and knew, and how we need a world softer for them. Which would translate into a world softer for us all. I cried when I read this poem. 

 

from Differences, by Danez Smith

once, there was a boy
who learned to sing
who then learned not to sing

once, there was a boy
who heard another boy singing
then told him to stop

these are the same boy
this is every boy

another story: once, a boy
loved summer & so moved
to the sun

same story: once, a boy
ran from winter but could
not shake the dead trees

same story: once, a boy
stood in the woods
until he became it

same story: a boy is a tree

same story: my mother cries
whenever she sees a tree

 

 

 

 

For more information about the wondrous Danez Smith, please check out their website.

alisonmcghee.com

Words by Winter: my new podcast

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