“Of Man” and “The Nature of Living”

Poetry by Marcus Lindsey

Of Man

When I was 14 my dad told me

He would hug me twice in my life.

Once when I graduate and once when I get married.

I have since graduated high school.

The first hug was breakneck

He slapped my shoulder blades

like you would a newborn baby

Struggling to breathe

Still blue. Underwhelmed,

I brace for the next hug.

My grandfather was worse.

A military mechanic. Wrought iron build.

I wonder how he said I love you.

I imagine: “Good work on that tire alignment, son.”

A crack on the shoulder

A swipe at the chin

Was the closest it got.

He set the bar low

I take what I can get.

“What sounds better to you, a V8 or a V10?”

Means he misses my company.

“How’s the truck? Is it time to take it in?”

Means how was your week?

“I love you, Man.” Means:

I love you.

You are the stars that pepper my universe with light

That will someday

Bring into being new life for me to love even further.

My son will know this love everyday he breathes.

When his tears fall like raindrops,

He won’t have to find my words

through the thunder of an engine.

He will hear: I love you. You are the stars

That pepper my universe with light

More than that,

You are my son.

The Nature of Living

As children we mocked

The earthworm’s ambitious move

From safety assured

As children we laughed

At their madness

Their vulnerable bodies

Called by the drumming

Raindrops on roofs of loam

To adventure they climb

Bolstering courage with curiosity

Most will dry out

Die needlessly on the pavement

Jumble our homeward footsteps

As children we asked

Is it worth it?

So readily sacrificing

For food

For mate

For new surroundings

Why not stay in your tunnel?

However dark it may be

The risk is too great

Preserve what life you have

As adults we mock

Our days of naivety

There is more to this

About the Author

Marcus Lindsey

Marcus Lindsey is a full-time biology student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He is taking courses in creative writing to develop his skills and getting involved with the Baltimore poetry community. Marcus is working to mold his experiences into an art form others may find security in.