Friday, April 01, 2011

NaPoWriMo Day One

Why is it that boys going through puberty
are so self-conscious about getting undressed
in the YMCA locker room? They keep
those white towels around their waists, even
as they step into their briefs or boxers.
I'm not sure they've completely toweled off.
Aren't they uncomfortable pulling dry clothes
over wet skin? I know I would be.
The near-acrobatics each will go through
so that no one else sees his penis.
And yet, they are almost always there
with a friend. Why doesn't one of them
change in one bank of green lockers,
while his friend can undress in another?
They could both relax a little if they were
apart, but they stay together, tense.
I would find the whole thing mildly amusing
if it weren't for the fact that they're so
brazen when they're fully clothed,
talking to each other on the way out,
oblivious to the fact that others can hear them.
There was one time I was waiting near the exit
for my wife to join me after our workout,
and heard two boys, walking by together, talking,
and I was shocked, when one said:
That's so gay.

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to a prompt at Big Tent Poetry to write a poem about "getting undressed somewhere besides the bedroom or bathroom".


  1. That's so... like real life.

  2. Interesting, but I don't believe it is just young boys who do those gymnastics. And we are all much braver with our clothes on.


  3. I agree with Elizabeth, we are all much braver with our clothes on. Nice start to kick off April, Mr. Walker.


  4. Self consciousness - a natural place to grieve our children's loss...

    My Day #1 Poem.

  5. I think as we get older, self-consciousness sets in and grows. Little kids will happily shed their clothes. As we get older, we're more reluctant to do so publicly. (Even in locker rooms.)

  6. Ditto to all the above...


  7. Just one more example of adolescent angst. Well put, and a good response to the prompt.

  8. An interesting take on an ordinary event. I enjoyed it.

  9. Hard to be naked and brave! This has a very true ring to me. Vb

  10. Astute observations. Women, girls aren't much different. Good take on the prompt.

  11. Keen eye. Pentrating analysis. Solid writing.

  12. Wow! I go away for the day - to the Tech Museum for my last day of spring break with my son - and come back to all these lovely comments. Thanks to all who stopped by, read my poem, and left m a comment. It's been a great way to start April. No fooling!

  13. Interesting meditation.

  14. I really feel sorry for young boys in those locker rooms. To begin with, size of penis = size of ego for so many. As Maria Muldaur sang, "It Ain't the Meat, It's the Motion"!

    Your thoughts on strategies for these kids is great, and the ending line, "That's so gay," is just the new way of saying "That's so queer." It all means the same thing: WRONG. And that saddens me.

    Great start to April PAD, Mr. W, and glad to see you on Writer's Island, where we can post free of prompts!


  15. Amy, as always, thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments. I, too, feel sorry for those boys; it's such an awkward time, but it passes. What worries me is that the fear and hate is not a phase that passes naturally with time. Thank you for reading to the end and addressing that as well. I'll be reading your blog - and yes, I'm delighted about the daily posting/sharing at Writer's Island.

  16. This was so insightful. I just love this.

  17. thingy, thank you. Prompts help me write, to give my thoughts something to crystallize around.

  18. nice one..thanks for sharing your words

  19. Maybe we're all better under cover - :) Intriguing poem...

  20. Wayne, thanks for stopping by.
    Tumblewords, yes, "under cover" - that sounds like a prompt right there.

  21. reflective.

    lovely message,

  22. Jingle, thanks for stopping by. Thank you, reflective is a compliment - and one of the things I think poetry should be and do.