The Beard This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

December 13, 2012
I stroked his face, fuzzy, strong, beyond
What I could comprehend. He explained that
It was a luxury- being a man- and should be
Treated as such. Relish in it, my son, and
You will make your Father proud.

But how to go about the transformation
From boy to man? Is there a plan? I had
To create one if I were to grasp hope.
Suddenly sparked the first of my revelations
That carried me down the righteous path.

Rough. Tough. That was the stuff
That I needed to grow. So as I cheated
On tests, pushed down the weak,
Made fun of girls ‘til they cried for a week,
I felt my elementary self blow.

But now where to go?
It then became clear.

The brains. The intellect. Where man
Derives his power, multiplies his women,
And sums his success. So I studied for gold.
I studied for fame. To know what you all
Do not, so you remember my name.

But now where to go?
It then became clear.

Hit the gym, slim. Don’t wanna
Be that thin boy who can’t pick up
A pencil to write let alone defend in a fight.
Wanna be a man. That’s the plan. And it’s
The biggest of the bunch who decide who can.

But now where to go?
It then became clear.

It was in the beard. The beard! How could
I have been so immature. Beards control
Nature, command attention, and outmatch
Other boys I could mention. I’ll be king of the land.
All shall hear of this guy’s manly lookin’ beard.

I approach my Father with the news
Of the day. Done, I say, ‘cause men use
Few words. I stare Him in the eye, direct
As men should do. But I had read something
Wrong that all Men before me knew.

Done? He says. But what have you learned?
You have nothing to show. Nothing’s been earned.
You live like the rest, arrogant as a fool.
Like a peacock who moves by his own rule,
Expecting me to be satisfied with how you’ve turned?

But Father…
Where do I go?

A man lives not behind these disguises.
A man recognizes what life’s true prize is.
He cares. He loves. He protects and understands.
He holds what’s important with his God-given hands.
Family. Integrity. Compassion. The truth.
A man finds the joy with his oh-so sweet tooth.
Let not your pride place you lost in the crowd.
Do this for me, son, and you will make your Father proud.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

Atropos This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm
Loved it! This is the best poem I've read in a while.
Site Feedback