Why I Just Want To Punch You In The Face

On the field he learned that violence was the way to deal with conflict. Off the field he had to learn a better way.


Ashley Inguanta and Sheila Squillante build bridges between past, present, and future in this jointly-written poem–a first for the Good Men Project!

What Was He Like?

My grandfather made mistakes. He abandoned people who needed him, he alienated people who loved him, but he taught me one important thing — not to have any regrets.

Surviving the Stresses of Life, A Dad Discovers His Own Father Did Pretty Well After All

Jeff Jackson strives to live up to the standards of being a “good dad,” and does the best he can. As he ponders what that means, he realizes his own dad was pondering the same thing.

4 Things I Learned About Life After My Grandfather’s Suicide

Despite its brutal tragedy, there are important lessons to be learned from a grandfather’s beautiful life and death.

How Do We Find Perspective in the Wake of Tragedy?

His grandfather was his hero. When he was diagnosed with cancer, he was crushed. When he committed suicide, he was broken. Here’s how he healed.

Upon Hearing that My Grandfather Would Like to See More Tears

Brian Baumgart goes to a darkly reflective and emotionally honest place in this poem.

Making Mistakes Doesn’t Make You Less of a Man

His grandfather taught him how to be a man. His death left him questioning himself. — I called him “Papa” growing up and idolized him when I was a kid. Not so much during my teenage years—of course, Papa was “unhip and uncool” then. However, sometime in my twenties I regained my senses and a […]

All the Men Went

In this remembrance of a grandfather, Charles Bane Jr. writes of coal mines and light, death and the sublime.

My Grandfather Died Today and My Heart is Broken

The death of the man who raised him left Kimanzi Constable reeling with anger, regret, and yes, gratitude.

Night Train

Jarrett Neal reflects on the heartbreak and alcoholism that so often attended black men from “the Jim Crow South” in this searing poem.

Ice Garden

Dean Kostos expertly weds form and content in this poem–a villanelle–whose use of refrain and repetition reflects an old man’s movement through time and memory.

An Open Letter to My Grandfather

His grandfather gifted him a legacy, taught him to love story, and to live a life without regrets, now he has to say “thank you” and “goodbye.”

How the Greatest Lesson I Learned From Baseball Became a Lesson for Success in Life

A baseball story of a boy and his grandfather, of wilting in the pressure of great expectations, and of succeeding by learning not to be afraid to fail.

Moving Up the Generational Ladder: How My Grandfather’s Death Saved My Family

Kevin Sterling reflects on the profound personal lessons and inspirations he was able to glean from his grandfather’s long and storied life.


Alex Gallo-Brown shares the difficult adventures of three generations of men in an Italian-American family.