The First Shower

Shower

L. Lamar Wilson raises a powerful memory of sameness and difference– a father-son moment that is both tender and sorrowful.

Confession

Fight

Speaking for men who are drawn to violence, Ed Harkness writes compellingly on “why we love the vein of coal /inside us” in this recollection of a harrowing bullying episode.

A Boy’s Bike

Bike

Diane Lockward uses a seemingly mundane occurrence to make a powerful statement about personal loss and, perhaps, the current state of boyhood.

Childhood

Knuckles

Christopher Nelson remembers “Bloody Knuckles”—and the disturbing things it taught us about manhood.

Biography of a Heretic

Pray

Daniel W.K. Lee challenges parental expectations and a son’s subtle pressure to conform.

New York is Filled with Boys

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If Walt Whitman had lived in a different time, he might’ve written Perry Brass’s celebration of the boy in all of us.

Fourteen

Mom and Son

“Fourteen” is Telaina Eriksen’s heartfelt letter to her teenaged son, and the man she hopes he becomes.

Here’s the Bad News, Son

shiner photo by Martin Thomas

Steve Almond’s reflections on having a baby boy, after a lifetime of trying to deal with aggression.

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Learning to Foxtrot

Dance

In this touching, relatable poem, Jessica Server offers some sympathy to those boys whose “deep phobia of dancing” keeps them from getting close to the women they pine after.

How to Pull a Tooth With a Rocket (Or, What Dads Do When Mom Is Not Home)

pull tooth

Hugh Paxton suggests you don’t try this at home.

it gets better, by halves

tape

A creative and disturbing piece from Sean Patrick Mulroy on childhood, neglect, and silence.

Boys Do Cry, Look at Little Jackson

Boy You Can Cry

Meet Jackson, the little music fan who knows that sadness can be goodness.

If I Were a Parent of a Boy…

If I were the parent of a boy photo by kellyB

Michael Gurian believes we are in denial about boys and men—and what is needed is systematic changes to meet the needs of both genders.

The Last Bottled Soda Vending Machine East of the Missouri

Gas Station

Jim Cihlar presents us with a highly imagistic look at a moment in time, gently evoking loss.

Max and the Broken Dishwasher

photo by Phil Roeder

George Davis, appliance repair technician—meet Max, a four-year-old, also broken.

On Boys, Nature, Aggression

tree sparrow

Conservationist Matt Williams shows the importance of reconnecting everyone, especially boys, back to the natural world.