The Selfish Giver

I’m in a poetry mood.

So, I have this friend, who has been dogged out by all the women he’s been with. When I say he’s been “dogged out”–he has been DOGGED the hell out. And each of these girls were attractive (except #3, I always thought she looked like a mud duck), and they were the kind of couple that you would think, “how the hell did he get that?”  It’s just that my boy is a good man, he is a good Dad and just as much a good step dad. He is hard-working and very unselfish with his belongings, resources and himself. The only thing is, he is not what many of you would call a really attractive brother, he’s sort of overweight, and he didn’t grow up with a real man who taught him how to take care of himself. So he does the best he can with what he’s got, and the women he gets with do their best to destroy him internally in order to control him. It’s disgusting, but I think he’s gotten the picture.

The main problem now is that his self-esteem is so beaten up, he doesn’t think he’s worth much and he doesn’t really try anymore. What can a friend do? One thing about men is that much of our power and strength does come from our women. This is why having a good wife can make a meek man become powerful, yet having a bad wife can destroy great men and kings. Having your homeboy reassure you that you’re a good catch is not the same as having a woman you treasure tell you she’s a lucky woman to have you. Much of our happiness does come from within; but as humans–with feelings and imperfections we are aware of–a good deal of it can be destroyed by the ones we love. Lopsided relationships are like cancers: the longer you keep it, the more it consumes you until there is nothing of “you” left.

For my friend RSH:

he reaches for the broken ones

the toys on the bottom shelf

the ones no one seems to want

though they all play with them

and discard them

broken

tired of sharing, he’d

rather fix springs and sand edges and ignore chips

than compete to play alone

because the last time he took one home

she hurled stones that stung and singe

one of those fancy ones

with the lights and the new bright colors

the ones that everybody likes

but they make him dislike himself

and he just wants to play alone

giving all he has

without reservations

or looking over his shoulder–

so he reaches for the bottom shelf,

the treasure so painfully gotten,

that make him

feel

new.

2011

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