A Man Stands Tall



OK, so first of all, the Man Stands Tall comes partly from my daughter and mostly from my grandmother. She had a lot of aphorisms, and I loved it when she used them to share some of her ideas, she often said, "A boy becomes a man when a man is needed, there are boys out there 65 years old because they never had to be a man." and "The meek will inherit the earth. That's because being meek means being stronger than you need to be, and wearing it on the inside, not the outside." "“Stand tall, smile bright, and let them wonder what secrets are making you laugh!” And one of my favorites, "When elephants fight, only the grass gets hurt."

She is the one who taught me that Life may not be the party we asked for, but we might as well dance while we are here, and to never piss in a well because you never know when you might need a drink.

My youngest asked me a question not long ago while doing Social Studies homework what it was that makes a man a man. Is it just turning eighteen and growing strong and tall? And I told her, without any reflection, than a man is never so tall as when he kneels to hug a child. Then I said “Stand tall, smile bright, and let them wonder what secrets are making you laugh!” This caused a lot of those sayings to flood in on me, and I shared many of the feeling in the poem and my grandmothers aphorisms. We both sort of came to the conclusion that the stronger you are, the less you needed to show how strong you are, and you could stand tall, no matter your stature.

Next day I came up with this.


A MAN STANDS TALL

When you find yourself all alone
and the way before you is not clear,
if you are willing to pay the high cost,
willing to swallow the yellow knot of fear,
when angels have left you without a guide
and demons have all drawn close and near –
a male who would be a man stands tall.

When a sister finds herself lost
in emotional hurt, pain and crying,
when a brother stumbles and falls
no matter how hard he might be trying,
when a parent faces their fears
of being alone and finally dying -
a male who would be a man stands tall.

If he has a tender giving heart
and a clear and open mind,
with a willingness to heal,
and the strength to be forever kind,
when presented with others faults
makes the choice to be fault-blind -
a male who would be a man stands tall.

And the circle will forever grow
while the wound of enmity mends,
the bloodied warriors will finally pause
and recognize those who would be friends,
the music starts, the dance begins
the killing finally ends -
a male who would be a man stands tall.

A male who would be a man stands tall.





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