The Boy | Poem

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This section contains 247 words
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Is it the boy in me who's looking out
the window, while someone across the street
mends a pillowcase, clouds shift, the gutter spout
pours rain, someone else lights a cigarette?

(Because he flinched, because he didn't whirl
around, face them, because he didn't hurl
the challenge back—"Fascists?"—not
"Faggots""Swine!"

he briefly wonders—if he were a girl . . .)
He writes a line. He crosses out a line.

I'll never be man, but there's a boy
crossing out words: the rain, the linen-mender,
are all the homework he will do today.
The absence and the privilege of gender

confound in him, soprano, clumsy, frail.
Not neuter—neutral human, and unmarked,
the younger brother in the fairy tale
except, boys shouted "Jew!" across the park

at him when he was coming home from school.
The book that he just read, about the war,
the partisans, is less a...






















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This section contains 247 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Boy Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Boy from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.