When I was young, I used to
Watch behind the curtains
As men walked up and down the street. Wino men, old men.
Young men sharp as mustard.
See them. Men are always
They knew I was there. Fifteen
Years old and starving for them.
Under my window, they would pauses,
Their shoulders high like the
Breasts of a young girl,
Jacket tails slapping over
One day they hold you in the
Palms of their hands, gentle, as if you
Were the last raw egg in the world. Then
They tighten up. Just a little. The
First squeeze is nice. A quick hug.
Soft into your defenselessness. A little
More. The hurt begins. Wrench out a
Smile that slides around the fear. When the
Your mind pops, exploding fiercely, briefly,
Like the head of a kitchen match. Shattered.
It is your juice
That runs down their legs. Staining their shoes.
When the earth rights itself again,
And taste tries to return to the tongue,
Your body has slammed shut. Forever.
No keys exist.
Then the window draws full upon
Your mind. There, just beyond
The sway of curtains, men walk.
But this time, I will simply
Stand and watch.
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Comments about this poem (Men by Maya Angelou )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi
(1207 - 1273)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- A Moment Of Happiness, Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Inspiration, Henry David Thoreau
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