To be a man

         
To every man is given in its time
the need to be a man:
to be strong enough to be gentle,
to protect without controlling,
to be wise without cunning,
to stand against a great foe
without stooping to be mean,
to be adept enough to be gracious;
with the true manliness that is generosity,
like a great tree bearing fruit,
undisturbed by storms
and welcoming to small birds.
To every man is given more power
and privilege than he needs,
and a way to share it,
a way to loosen the bolts of fear,
a way to open the gates of injustice
from the inside.
To every man is given in the darkness
the courage to not know,
the wisdom to be quiet,
the patience to know that what it is
to be a woman he does not know,
and what it is to be a child
he can always remember
if only he dares.
To every man is given, deep within,
the power to lay down his overpowering weapon
and humbly become the one
that God creates him to become,
and nothing less, and nothing else,
if only, by God's grace, he has the guts.