I know that men are not trained to be gentle
You take pride in your rough hands- that you work hard
That your mother doesn’t have to work anymore.
But you don’t listen when she tells you how lonely she feels
Behind her white picket fences
Spending her days trapped on the porch swing you built
She doesn’t want to exist solely for you–
Not if you won’t sit beside her every day.
Her love has long died and she is still here
Waiting for your okay to fade into the black of the night
To rebuild her own world
But all you can hear is that she’s bored-that her life is boring.
Have you ever sat with your grandmother-let her spill to you the great scandals of her life?Your grandfather had to climb Mt. Olympus to get her attention-
She used to smoke in public and wear fitted pants and she never got her nails done
And what a sight she was to behold- your mother’s mother-
You, her legacy.
Sometimes you brag about paying your sisters rent
Being the man she can rely on- being strong
But she won’t admit her belly’s growing until you ask her directly
Won’t volunteer the delicate nature of her heart’s desire- the fragile situation she’s gotten herself in-loving a man too much like fire
Don’t let shame or anger darken your face when at last she must confess- she’s moving back home, dropping out of school, having a baby boy.
Men are not trained to be gentle, my love
But that is no excuse.
The world does not belong to you- you are not the God around whom we must revolve.
Do not assume that it is only you- working, stressing, praying, overcoming.
It was borne in your bones- inherited like the color of your eyes, the texture of your hair.
You must learn to give credit where it is due.
There is no one who can make themselves.