A boy turned 6 today

A boy turned 6 today
He walked into school and emerged
Fully grown and still a child
Bashful and brave
Poignant and powerful
Vulnerable and earnest

I am his mother
and I turned older still
counting my birthdays
no longer by my own
but by his
the day he emerged from my womb
everything changed

A boy turned 6 today
a boy who will grow
and change
and his voice will deepen
and his legs will be hairy
and he will smell
even worse than he already does
after playing outside.

A boy may want a girl
years later
He may go to a party
and drink out of a keg
and scream:

We raise him sometimes
as the center of 
our world
But I hope he knows
when he's older
He is not the center of 
the world

A boy turned 6 today
Thousands of miles away
women who were once girls
told stories about a boy
who was once 6
who was the center 
of his parents' world
who maybe never learned
He was not the center of 
the world

Who thought the rules
applied to everyone
but him
And the voices and the stories of the girls
didn't matter
And he could rewrite his own history
with money, degrees, and good deeds

Who am I to judge?
As I rewrite my own.

Therefore I will not judge.
I will eat cake with the boy who turned 6 today.
God is the only judge.

But neither should the boy
who never learned to be a man
Be America's judge

A boy turned six today.
What kind of America will it be
when boys become men
and women become people


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