For the Men Who Were Never Taught How to Feel

for men who assumed a warped version of masculinity –
by envisioning themselves like their fathers;
stiff, rigid, inflexible

“but my son, you may cry all your tears on my shoulder”,
words they could only wish had been said to them.

for the eldest sons, who carried the weight of expectation –
feeling inadequate, feeling unworthy; feeling the crux of disappointment,
for they are not the ‘man’ they were destined conditioned to be.

for the middle sons, neglected and rejected –
left alone to his own demise,
the observer of abuse — whether silent, still violent
the sole decision-maker of the behaviour
laid before his eyes.

for the youngest, who may have been blessed/cursed with
all of his mother’s love – smothered
co-dependent for eternity – eternally looking for another
simply because he was never let go of.

have you ever thought about the weight you carried all these years?
how could you possibly believe your heart would not attack itself.

modern-day stoicism can only get you so far, son –
the volcano within you will erupt
and leave you dormant on the floor.

you hold it in, letting love slip from your fingertips –
only because it’s cool to be tough, it’s cool to be indifferent,
it’s cool to be ‘masculine’ toxic.

and while I may not be your son
(you always treated me like one)
I am grateful you are still alive

even though concealing your affection has made it all seem
like a lie,
but I suppose your father did that to you, as well
(it’s a vicious cycle).

it’s beautiful to understand
that ebbs and flows through you,
and makes you the ‘man’ you are.

photo by nikko macaspac