Unlearning the Man

1999. Bothered by my constant crying my aunt shows me a book “real men don’t cry,” I want to be a real man.

I stop crying.

I don’t understand why real men didn’t cry. I’m just told they don’t. The only thing worse than not being able to be a real man is being a girl.

*

2007. My grandfather dies. He was a real man. Standing by his grave I try to be a real man, I try not to cry. The tears tickle at the edges of my eyes.

In shame I run away.

In the farm I steel myself. I do not cry.

Sokoro would be proud.

 *

 

2014. “Fuck you and your poetry. You’re wasting your talent. You could have been a lawyer.”

I refuse to stifle the tears. They flow until my head aches.

*

In front of the bathroom mirror, my father cries. The mirror gradually disappears.

Or, in front of the bathroom mirror, my father cries. His reflection disappears.

–          Kweli, Views of My Father Crying, Again.

 

*

Few things are more precious

than tear drops clinging

to an eyelash

daring each other to jump.

*

2015. There will be tears.

2 thoughts on Unlearning the Man

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