There are Many Ways to be a Man in this World

A Dream Poem

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

There are many ways to be a man in this world.

You don’t have to ride with your brother to a bar

And lie to the bouncer to get in.

You don’t have to sit at a table by yourself

And order food that is too expensive because

There’s nothing else, or wait a long time for it to arrive.

You don’t have to sit in this bar by yourself

While your brother and his older friend huddle in the corner,

Talking about something you can’t understand —

Probably sports or something illegal or their latest conquests.

You don’t have to leave the bar and stiff

The bouncer again and remind them that you ordered food.

“I forgot you need a big breakfast,” your brother tells you,

And you believe him because he is your brother

And now is not the time to argue.

You jump out of the car to retrieve your food,

But there are no plastic utensils, so you make do

With edible straws — two to use as chopsticks —

And a dish of mac and cheese too big for breakfast.

. . . no, you don’t have to do all these things,

But you do them anyway because he’s your brother

And you spend so little time together.

Written by

Author of super-hero/sci books, False Alarm (2015), The Power Club (2017) and The Secret Club (2020). He lives on the fringes of the middle of the Midwest.

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