This poem is for sensitive men everywhere. Gendered Chrysalis appeared in Calliope, the official magazine of the Mensa association in Winter, 2010.

Winter 2011- Issue 130http://calliopeontheweb.orgHPIM0078

Gendered Chrysalis

Long before he understood much, he sensed

that when he slid out from the dark folds

of his mother’s body,

weewee unfurling like a flag,

everyone saluted his boyness.

Long before he understood much, he feared

fists and headlocks, the lunging towards his solar plexus,

all the noisy dares that defined the bullies on the playground.

Long before he understood much, he saw

that the tough ones followed siren songs into manhood,

speeding cars, war drums, drunken brawls,

the whole fire truck of adolescence

too loud for comfort.

Long before he understood much, he knew

he belonged

to those who were constantly listening,

ready to take in the fragile mewing of a small

cat under the porch, ready to marvel at the harmonics

of rain on the galvanized roof.

Long before he understood much, he reveled

in the gentle flute, the piano without pedals.

His first love was a short, gentle

sonata, tender, and never forgotten.

His second was a woman with a voice

clear as water.

Trusting his instincts, confiding

only in softer souls,

he grew into a man blessed with

perfect pitch and quiet hobbies,

still a man.

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