Poem: Be a man

baby feet

Smiling, gurgling, drooling baby.

Mamma’s arms. Giggles and bubbles.

Bouncing toys. Joyous love.


Crayons and cracker jacks. What’s the surprise in the box?

Jumpropes and softball. Caps and guns. Cowboys and Indians.

Don’t cry. Don’t be a girl.


Sheets wet with shame. Vacant with fear.

Wimp. Geek. Pussy. Faggot. Bitch. Crybaby. Putz.

Never good enough. Never man enough. Hide alone. Never show weakness.

Act like a man.


Man up. This is boot camp, ladies. Sweat.

Yes Sergeant No Sergeant Left Left Left Go

I wanna be an Airborne Ranger I wanna live a life of danger

Move shoot communicate

kill kill kill


This is my rifle I love my rifle. Plane. Pride.

Sand mud and sweat. Ammonia and gunpowder.

The smell of murder. Crushed bone and broken bodies

road kill


People. Win. Win. Crush the enemy. Kill.

Thre is no surprise in the box.

Don’t be a girl. Act like a man. BE a man.



Home. Be silent. No one knows.

no one cares?


Thanks for your service. Now shut up. Get a real job.

Suck it up. Stoic. Smell of prison. Bars made of ties.

Children jobs wives. They see me but can’t hear.

Silent cry. Silent rage. Isolation. This is manhood. Sterile. Murder.

Act like a man. Be a man.


Eyes fail. Age and rot. Sleepless nights.

Who could know? Silence. Bones break, skin ages.

The soul cries out: who could know?

no one


Who cares? Don’t speak. Don’t cry.

Act like a man.

Be a man.

Die like a man.




Copyright 2014 Charles Sheehan-Miles All Rights Reserved

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