In ten years or so
The daughters of some of the men
Perched at a crowded patio on a busy city sidewalk
Sipping payday beer
Will be old enough to become body parts.
Meat to be graded on a beauty-pageant scale of One to Ten
Evaluated for worth based on the “Would-You-Bang-Her?” chart.
But right now family is the furthest thing from the minds of these men.
And they’ve forgotten all about “checking their boys.”
The drinks are working their magic.
The credentials between their legs have once again taken charge of the situation
And like so many times before
They’ve let themselves get caught up in performing for each other.
Each of them is totally absorbed in seeking approval
From the very same gaze that they aim
At all the invisible women
Daughters of other men
Passing by their section of the world.
Just for fun
They shout out crude catcalls
Empty echoes of what they think the other guys want to hear.
They spread their privilege like subway legs
Comment loudly on the shapes and sizes of female body parts
This is just another one of their spectator sports
Locker-room immunity attached
Another one of those pissing contests that they use to establish dominance
To broadcast chest-beating masculinity.
They’re just having fun.
Once they’ve parted company and made their way back to their respective homes
Maybe there will be a daughter waiting
A little girl who will run and greet her daddy at the door
Happy that he’s made it home
Back from wherever
Long used to the smell of beer on his breath.
Maybe the man will take a few minutes to ask his little girl about her day
Once he’s showered off the world and some of its ugly dust
Home being where the heart is
And all of that.
And maybe he’ll wonder if now is the time that he should finally let his little princess know
The inherited gaze of posturing males will reduce her to a plaything
To a few cuts of meat
An assemblage of parts built for performance
But that everything will be okay
Because Daddy will always be there to protect her.
LYNDA LESNY lives in Sudbury, ON, and has had her poems published in The Pendle War Poetry Anthology, Talent North, Sulphur, Understorey, The Silver Birch Press, The Windsor Review, among others. In 2018, her poems, “Flight” and “Reconnect” were included, respectively, in the Greater Sudbury poetry projects Raining Poetry and Poetry on the Trails. She continues to attend local Open Mic events and to submit her work to Canadian and international publications.
Copyright © 2019 by Lynda Lesny. All rights reserved.