Tough Skin

Callaced and rough, tough
skin cuts when touched.
Tough skin worn by men.
Holding axes, shovels, and
tools makes you tough.
Sometimes, it is enough.
Other times, the man hides
behind his tough skin.
It is not manly to be soft.
Have you heard this before?
Women can’t be tough.
It is not womanly to chop
down a tree. Women must
plant seeds. Who says I can’t
be soft? I am tired of being
tough. I think men should be
sensitive, too. All men’s tears
should water the seeds, while
women tear weeds. We must
break free from norms and
set forms that used to be.
We can be tough, rough, soft,
or hard. We can live together
with our skin and talk about
the places we have been.




Peace of Mind

I am starting to find some peace of mind.
It took me several years to find – myself –
a young man trying to understand.
In all my years, I have faced fears,
shed tears, and avoided mirrors. Now,
it is time that I find a sign that leads
to a mind that I’d love to call mine.