This one's for the gentle boy
Who wrestles with his pain,
His easy-bruising, tender heart,
And ever-active brain.
He feels much more than others do,
And tries real hard to hide,
With laughter or bravado,
The gentle boy inside.
With wit and style and artifice
His secret's kept so well.
Who dreams the brave facade you see
Conceals some private Hell?
Meanwhile, the brutes live on and on
Their unexamined lives.
The low, the clueless, and the cruel,
The sluggish idiots thrive.
To fill the world with empty talk
And greed and hate and noise,
To breed, carouse, and make life Hell
For all the gentle boys.
Some gentle boys grow heartsick
And so tired of this charade.
They blow themselves right off the Earth,
Or fight, then fail, then fade.
If you should love a gentle boy
There's little you can do.
If he decides his time has come,
He'll leave the Earth and you.
He cannot see that if he goes
You'll never fill that space.
You'll spend your whole life searching
For that laugh, those eyes, that face.
How can the gentle boy not know
You love him beyond death,
You'd help him any way you could,
Unto your dying breath?
Someday when justice reigns on earth
We all will greet, with joy
A world where it won't hurt so much
To be a gentle boy.
by Mary Withers in memory of her son William