Sharon Olds

(November 19, 1942 / San Francisco)

My Son The Man - Poem by Sharon Olds

Suddenly his shoulders get a lot wider,
the way Houdini would expand his body
while people were putting him in chains. It seems
no time since I would help him to put on his sleeper,
guide his calves into the gold interior,
zip him up and toss him up and
catch his weight. I cannot imagine him
no longer a child, and I know I must get ready,
get over my fear of men now my son
is going to be one. This was not
what I had in mind when he pressed up through me like a
sealed trunk through the ice of the Hudson,
snapped the padlock, unsnaked the chains,
and appeared in my arms. Now he looks at me
the way Houdini studied a box
to learn the way out, then smiled and let himself be manacled.

Topic(s) of this poem: son


Comments about My Son The Man by Sharon Olds

  • (1/5/2018 9:12:00 PM)


    I love how she metaphorically uses the breaking of Hudson River ice to describe childbirth in the heat of the moment. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (1/5/2018 2:59:00 AM)


    Children could not help but grow up as men and women one day........the feelings of which expressed so touchingly.......outstanding........thanks for sharing (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (1/5/2018 2:40:00 AM)


    Sharon, such a great poem.👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (1/5/2018 2:38:00 AM)


    'Get over my fear of men now my son'! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (1/5/2018 1:07:00 AM)


    Extremely beautiful. A son or a daughter never seems to grow old in the eyes of a mother.
    As such the realisation comes very late and that too with a tinge of surprise. Thanks, Sharon.
    (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags


Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Poem Edited: Wednesday, January 7, 2015


[Report Error]