for they wake on the most languid of mornings marvellously erect
for they do not know their own soft beauty
nor how sounds an enticing counterpoint to their muscled arrogance
for they sing in morning showers as though no one can hear them
for when they get dressed they begin to leave you
little by little to the world of bank managers, taxation and scams
for they drive holding your hand and still find a parking spot
for they walk through the world differently
for their shoulders are broad, their hips narrow and their skin is tender
for their voices are certain and their talk
and their ears hear some nuances and are sometimes deaf
for they wonderfully try to fix things, both in your kitchen
and in the world, for they all began life as scabby-kneed boys
always fiddling around and asking questions
for they gave their mothers quick close hugs when no one was watching
for they wanted to cry into their pillows
for there were mysteries they yearned to master
and could not name
for when these men come to your bed
when they lie beside you naked
they are all of that and your fingers walk over them
with a wondering, bewildered love.
From: Marriage for Beginners, Catherine Bateson, John Leonard Press, 2009.
Posted today for Alan Rosendorff, who began the argument which resulted in this poem. Alan Rosendorff, died from stomach cancer late last year. He campaigned for the right to legally choose a dignified death for the terminally ill. You can read more of his story here.
And, of course, jump over here for more Tuesday poems.