Starting when I was young, I was taught to be a man, If tears were seen, I would feel the sting of a hand; When our dog died, I felt so alone and sad, My tears made my Dad, very, very mad. He told me that in time, everything dies, But no matter what else happens, Men Don't Cry. I grew up tough, my parents went their own way, I was rarely home, soon I didn't even play; My friends were few and my feelings I hid, Everybody always said, 'What a tough kid.' At night when I was lonely, I could only sigh, For where I come from, Men Don't Cry. Then came the day when the judge said to me, "I could send you to prison or you can join the Army." I was only seventeen, both young and dumb, But I knew if I didn't do something, I'd end up a bum. When they sent me off, there were tears in Momma's eyes, Of course Dad and I just stood there, 'cause Men Don't Cry. Then I came home on leave, with orders for the 'Nam,' Everybody seemed freaked out, especially my Mom; I got on a plane, headed for the war, Of my home and Mom, I tried not to think anymore. Yet as we flew over the ocean, in that clear blue sky, I had to hold back the tears, 'cause Men Don't Cry. I witnessed death and slaughter, in that faraway land, Things happened to this young boy, that made him a man; A coldness grew over me, a numbness of the heart, I saw death over and over, men ripped apart. I tried to stay distant, kinda like I was shy, 'Cause where I come from, Men Don't Cry. Before I knew what happened, I made a friend, We vowed to fight together, to the very end; I don't know how it came about, but we got so very close, I'd never had a friend like him, he wasn't like most. We both became tough as nails, not afraid to die, We were real men now, and Men Don't Cry. Then it happened, the worst horror of my life, A day that my heart, was pierced with a knife; My friend had bent over a mine, and there came a loud roar, My friend, my partner...was no more. This was not cool, it had to be a lie, These weren't tears on my face, for Men Don't Cry. I lost a leg, in that war-torn land, It made me tougher, more of a man; That's what the doctors, at the VA said, They said I was lucky, that I wasn't dead. They said forget the pain and grief, and don't ask why, For you see, son, Men Don't Cry. There came a time, when I couldn't push it away, That damn war was in my head, day after day; I tried to hold my feelings, deep inside, Especially the tears, I tried to hide. The depression made me mean, and by and by, I started to wonder, why Men Don't Cry. One day I found myself, with a gun in my hand, Wanting to be with my partner, wanting to leave this land; The pain inside overwhelmed me, crushing my soul, I couldn't forget the war, couldn't let it go. But no matter how I hurt, nor how hard I tried, Something inside of me said, 'Men Don't Cry.' I didn't pull the trigger, didn't take my life, Guess I couldn't do that, to my children and wife; Things went on as usual, I pretended to be all OK, I did my best, to push the torment away. I just took more drugs, till my memories would fry, 'Cause as we all know, Men Don't Cry. So the rage inside of me, got worse than ever, I didn't know what to do, I couldn't surrender; I'd see my partner at night, sitting on my bed, That damned war, wouldn't quit messing with my head. I wanted to let it out, but of course something inside, Kept telling me over and over, Men Don't Cry. I started hearing the sounds of battle, inside my brain, The screams of the wounded, was I going insane? Everybody kept telling me, I had to let it out, I wanted to scream, I wanted to shout. Don't you think I want to, don't you think I try? But don't you know I can't, 'cause Men Don't Cry. It's been 30 years, and the pain's still there, I see a shrink now, and others who care; I still miss my partner, he's still a part of me, I pray for us both, 'cause of his death and my insanity. Somehow I should've saved him, or maybe I should've died, I suppose that I'll grieve forever, 'cause you know, Men Don't Cry. My insides twist, they go around and around, When I try to talk about the war, there is no sound; Nothing comes out, it all stays where it's at, I suffer alone, my thoughts dark and black. I can't tell no one, no matter how hard I try, This pain is mine alone, 'cause Men Don't Cry. I await the day, when things will change, When people won't think, that I'm so strange; God wants to help, he seeks me in many ways, So why do I resist, keeping him at bay? I don't know the answer, I don't know the why's, I just know deep inside, that Men Don't Cry. God help others, who are like me, Let Him understand, let Him see; We are just warriors, who thought we were right, We fought for freedom, against the 'commies' might. The draft dodgers and deserters, they were pretty sly, But you know it don't mean nothin', 'cause Men Don't Cry. Mike (Pegleg) Dingwell

Copyright © 1995 By Michael Dingwell, All Rights Reserved