Mention the word “poetry” and most men squirm or roll their eyes or a combination of both. That’s fair. Most of us had an early encounter with poetry that looked something like having to recite Emily Dickinson in front of our 8th grade English class, and then being asked what we thought she meant in those lines. We didn’t have a freakin’ clue, so we bluffed a little or a lot, maybe made a wise-crack to our buddy in the back of the room, anything to break the tension in that jr. high moment. And after that experience, we swore off poetry for good, and gave Emily and her kind the big swollen middle finger.
That’s fair, but unfortunate.
Good poetry can capture in a few lines what often takes others hundreds or even thousands of pages. And who has the time and/or desire to read thousands of pages? Yeah, not any man I know. So here’s an invitation to give poetry another swing. This is a slow pitch right across the plate, no fancy words or weird phrases you can’t understand without the help of medicinal supplements. And the message is one that we here at Buffalo Jackson swear by. It’s about the kind of men we strive to be, men who’ll sure be missed when we’re finally gone one of these days.
Be careful what you wish for.
If you wish to be a man’s man
you might find yourself at the end
a hard-pressed man who missed
the daily frailties that soften you
allowing you to close your eyes
and rest in peace. Perhaps the
grander wish is to be a woman’s man
or a child’s man or a dog’s man.
Those are the men missed when
they are finally gone.