The second of my 3 poems published in the Anthology, “Meticulous Men of Mettle” based on the premise that strong men do not breakdown. From childhood, boys are told not to cry. If they do, they are told to stop being like girls. Bottled emotions create an unnecessary pressure on boys and then men. That’s probably the reason why more men end up with heart and stress related diseases. Through this poem, I’ve aimed to shatter through that glass which requires men to walk on the face of the earth without a display of emotions.
Do let me know what you feel about the poem.
“Strong men don’t cry. Never shed a tear, you hear, ” his father had said,
Not a tear I shed, when friends betrayed, Not when my wife to rest I laid,
Not when it crumbled to dust, all that I had painstakingly made,
And not when I watched memories of me, in minds fade…
“Hugs, display of affection; a sign of weakness!” father grimaced,
Frail of body yet sharp of mind, “Look at his hands, soft like a girl’s, ”
father’s cynicism he faced,
With his mother he towed; jeering, mocking, father’s words surfaced,
Rang in his ears, loud; his weary head bent, his heartbeat raced…
He looked around now, the room so bare,
Plastered walls, damp patches, an unfeeling stare…
A coward he had been, had been caught in a fool’s snare,
All his childhood waited, a good word, a pat on the back, “Father how did I fare?”
“You’ve never understood. How can you now?” they had said,
They, to whose children, every night, a story he had read,
Selfish, manipulative, uncaring, they called him; they, who he had bred,
Withering, wasted; he had failed; the worn path he had tread…
Had given them a good home, values, the best education…
Hadn’t broken the mould, no praise, no family vacation, No hugs, no piggy backs, no display of affection.
The past with open eyes he saw, choked, a stifled suffocation…
Waves of regret flooded, an endless hopelessness,
Not a message or a call, it lay silent beside him; still and lifeless,
The sound of the bell, shrill, time for dinner; tired, he staggered to the mess,
A hope flickered, a wish, a prayer: one chance he wanted, to redress…
“A call for you, ” the girl at the front desk said,
“Hello papa, ” his eyes moist, a tear-drop froze, he let it flow; no longer did he dread,
“How are you dear? And the children?” alien paths he was determined to tread,
“Love you, ” he whispered, freed at-last from the shackles of the dead.
“Love you too papa…you sound different…warm” the words rang clear,
What made a man strong, he wished he could tell his father dear.
For the other 2 poems that were published in the Anthology “Meticulous Men of Mettle”, you can click on the below links:
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