Man Up

What It Means to Open a Lid

"Man up."

The last two words heard before the jump.

Man down.

Knackered, they scraped


From the tarmac like chewed gum –

Spat out and

Flattened in a fleshy puddle of blood and dirt.

If suicide is the biggest killer in men,

Then is it the manly way to go?

You didn’t laugh it off? Man up.

You laughed at a rom-com? Man up.

You cried tears of joy even though she bore a girl not a boy, man up.

But what if

‘Man’ isn’t the hard shell your soul fits?

Or you want to work with children,

Stay at home with the kids?

What if, we cry so much that our own hammers and pistons grow thick with rust?

Weak. Be the bigger man. Don’t be a little girl.

Man up.

We’re told to screw everything:

Screw all the girls,

Screw together those shelves

That would snap under the pressures of your mind.

Get a grip

And unscrew that jam jar

With your arrogant arms,

But keep your heart and mouth screwed tight –

Impenetrable, jammed shut.

Only open if smashed to shit,

Vomiting emotions across the pub floor,

Jam everywhere.

Don’t bottle it up

Or down the bottles.

Stand and sing

Because a chorus of us will join in,

Unscrewing our lids.

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Man Up
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