Today's poem is by Adam Kirsch

Farm Woman and Her Children, 1920-1925
        after a photograph by August Sander

The chain of flowers that runs along the hem
Of his white baby-dress unsexes him,
As though he's not yet ready to commit
Or be committed to the definite,
Reproachable destiny of being male.
He will not be an individual,
Declare the matching flowers on the dark
Absorbing softness of his mother's smock,
Until he breaks the circuit that his hand
Keeps with the breast he doesn't understand
Is not a part of him, and flings it out
In the aggressively erect salute
He will begin to learn at nine or ten;
Nothing can hope to undermine, till then,
His confidence that she'll protect him from
The monster he is going to become.

Copyright © 2011 Adam Kirsch All rights reserved
from Think Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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