Poem: A Different Man

A Different Man

by BJL


That day I woke up at 3pm,

shuffled into the bathroom

and looked myself in the mirror.

I was still tired, depressed, a mess.

“Do I know him?” I thought.


I hadn’t seen my father in weeks.

I hadn’t seen my dad in years.

But I saw my mother every day, in tears.

I saw myself only sometimes–

when I had the courage to look.


I was failing school, and had been,

because I simply didn’t care to try.

I was up late, surrounded by screens,

every single night. The red glow of

Netflix was my special nightlight.


It was this day, I think, that I–

driven by my own stubbornness–

decided to walk a different line.

I was a blind boy led by blind men.

I was seventeen and unseen.


I want to be a different man.

I want to be better than them.

I was poured in their mold,

but I will reshape their design.

I will break free from their kind.


I want to be a different man–

not for myself, and not in spite,

but for the woman I love,

for the children yet to come, who

will be able to lean on me, and not fall.


I want to be a different man,

who feeds and loves the flower

in his garden. I want to protect

her from all weather and harm

and do all I can to support her.


I want to be a different man,

so on the day when my children

are grown and look into

the mirror, they see only love,

and not the blinded image I was given.


Where they left, I will stay.

Where they sat, I will stand.

Where they yelled, I will whisper.

And when it gets hard,

I will try harder.



Thanks for giving A Different Man a read. It’s based off of things that really happened in my life–the things that are either the hardest or the easiest things to write about. This was a hard one for me. It’s never an easy thing to reopen old wounds and pull something out of them that might, somehow, help someone else find a peace with their own history. If you’d like to share what it means to you, or if you have any thoughts about the poem, feel free to share them in the comments below.

If you enjoyed the poem and want more content, you can follow my blog to stay updated on all things BJL and stay notified of my weekly posts. I’m also on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook; you can find that info and more on my Contact page. If you want to read more now, check out last week’s post to read my short story, The Ultimate Measure, or scan through my library of books, all of which are available in paperback and eBook on Amazon.


Weekly Writing Prompt: Write about something from your past, or someone/something important to you. Writing can be very therapeutic, so give it a shot!

3 thoughts on “Poem: A Different Man

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