Real Men Say I Love You
Now that you're turning twenty-one, I'm sure you understand
that, chronologically, the world now views you as a man.
Since most maintain their own concept of what a man should be,
perhaps it's time you understood what that word means to me.
Contrary to what twenty-one-year-olds these days might think,
no one becomes a man just 'cause the law says he can drink.
It's not expected you'll have financial security.
And these days, not many expect sexual purity.
Very few twenty-one-year-olds have chosen a vocation.
And even fewer, at that age, have their own habitation.
It isn't my intention, though, to say what a man is not.
So here's some traits that real men today should display a lot.
The Internet has made the world a cultural buffet.
Tolerance, therefore, is a thing that real men must convey.
Gender roles at work and home have gotten pretty gray.
So caring for their children, real men must do every day.
And contrary to what many Neanderthals perceive,
gender equality's something in which all real men believe.
But surely the most critical manhood prerequisite
is setting goals and making sure that to them you commit.
Some other things are used to take the measure of a man.
And if you let me, I'll try to teach all of them I can.
For now, however, let me close by citing just this one;
real men take every chance they get to say, "I love you son."
William Chaplar's Other Poems
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