Paul J. McDonald
Real Men - Poem by Paul J. McDonald
At eighteen the best jobs
are the ones you can do hung-over.
Cutting leather was a bad one.
The ruthless knives sliced bone.
I sobered up smartish,
but my mate Mick would say:
real men don’t need fingertips.
At thirty six he knew the ropes,
made finger-slings from pigskin:
You wax the seams,
he said, to stop the blood
from seeping through.
I think about him often.
He’d cadge my fags
and snap the filters off,
ask me if I thought I was a girl.
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