Life's Challenges

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they're supposed to help you discover who you are. ~ Bernice Johnson Reagon, Singer/Composer

Friday, February 18, 2011

How Men Are

by Dr. C.P. Estés

I met a man today
a young man
with muscles
lots of them…
a weightlifter/ bodybuilder…

People say, they’re so taken with themselves
you know,
“all about themselves.”

He was clerking in a power-vitamin store
where I was buying the 4# jug of protein powder.
Upon leaving, my daughter pointed out
I was driving around with my new
license plates on the seat
instead of on the bumper
where they belonged,
and my temporary paper tag in the window
had expired yesterday.

I didnt want to get a ticket, so…
‘Can I borrow a screwdriver,’ I asked bodybuilder man…
thinking the store’d have one in back.

But, no, bodybuilder man
bounded out the door, across parking lot,
rummaging in his Jeep, but came back empty handed.
‘Thought I had one there,’ he said.

Today I met another man,
old construction guy with tool belt…
you know how people say
all those guys really do is lean against the girders
and whistle at girls and plan the perfect beerfest
in the Stratro-lounger each night… all while pounding
a nail or two daytimes.

Well, muscleman had hiked three stores down
where he knew construction man was working.
‘Got a screwdriver?’ he asked.
‘Sure,’ said tool belt man.

I had my hand out, ready to take the screwdriver…
but no, bodybuilder man was already squatting
at my pickup truck, unscrewing the rusty fat bolts
and slapping the plates on front and back, right smart.

He stood. Grinned at me like he just caught
a mermaid on a safety pin with no bait.
I blurted out,
‘You’re one of the last of the royal knights, you know.’

And he did that ‘guy thing’ that any woman
who’s a woman, loves so much, that ‘duck and blush’
thing men do when they are heart-pleased.

And carpenter man came to the curb to get his tool,
and bodybuilder man said, ‘Thanks Bud.’
Carpenter man said, ‘Happy to help.’
I said thank you too, and his  whiskers expanded
and went wide as he smiled.
‘It’s my job Ma’am,’ he said, and he saluted me…
Marine eagle on his arm flexing over the anchored world.

You know how those tattooed carpenter construction
worker bodybuilding weightlifter young/ old guys are.
You know how they are.
They keep horses
down at the river,
an old underground river…
which still runs clear.

“You Know How They Say Men Are,” © 1999, All rights reserved.  Dr. C.P. Estes, poem from, La Pasionaria: Collected Poems of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes: A Manifesto on the Creative Fire

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