Tell Me Why I Shouldn't Cry



They say that men should never cry. It shows a weaker side.
Throughout my life, I’ve always found that tears are hard to hide.
There’s so much evil in this world, it makes me wonder why.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to cope. Tell me why I shouldn’t cry.  

A movie called “Old Yeller” was a show I went to see.
It’s about a loyal faithful dog as loving as could be.
All was fine until the end when Yeller had to die.
I was only ten years old. Tell me why I shouldn’t cry.  

The first time that I fell in love, my world was filled with joy.
What I felt was new to who was then a teenage boy.
It would all come crashing down when she left me high and dry.
I never felt such pain before. Tell me why I shouldn’t cry.
 
My grandma was a joy to me. She always made me smile.
She had a cabin way up north where I would stay a while.
When I heard she’d passed away, my memories all flew by.
I was by then a young man. Tell me why I shouldn’t cry.  

As a boy, I played with guns. I learned to shoot and aim.
But then I went to Vietnam, and it was NOT a game!
I saw good men give up their lives and pass without a sigh.
A sergeant must be strong and true. Tell me why I shouldn’t cry.  

My mother always stood by me and tried to keep me strong.
She helped me through the times when we knew that I was wrong.
She passed so fast I never had the chance to say goodbye.
I hope you’ll see I’m still a man. Let’s pretend I didn’t cry.

About this poem

I probably just want to dispel the myth that men shouldn't cry. I always believed that you prove how much you care about someone if you can cry in front of them. There's simply no shame in showing emotion. This poem is a snapshot of my life.

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Written on August 13, 2023

Submitted by npirandy on August 13, 2023

1:37 min read
917

Quick analysis:

Scheme AABB CCBB DDBB EEBB FFBB GGBB
Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 1,470
Words 324
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Randy West

I'm 76 years old and a combat veteran from Vietnam. I used to compose poetry while on ambush patrol as a way of staying awake on watch, since falling asleep could be hazardous to my health. I started early in life though, because, as a child, I would write little tidbits to my mom for the heck of it. more…

All Randy West poems | Randy West Books

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Discuss the poem "Tell Me Why I Shouldn't Cry" with the community...

23 Comments
  • npirandy
    That was the goal Carmi. Thanks for reading.
    LikeReply 11 month ago
  • CarmiPhilander
    I love the message, the repetition and the way you ended your poem. Glad to see you've taken a step toward breaking a stereotypical sentiment.
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • npirandy
    Thanks Susan. You have made my day. It's cold and ugly out there, and you have brought me sunshine.
    LikeReply1 month ago
    • susan.brumel
      I’m so glad! Thanks for the smile.
      LikeReply1 month ago
  • susan.brumel
    I loved this poem the first time I read it, and even more so after reading it today. An important message courageously shared. Just beautiful.
    LikeReply1 month ago
  • lovingempath
    :)
    LikeReply3 months ago
  • Soulwriter
    Wow. Amazing.
    LikeReply3 months ago
    • npirandy
      Thanks. I'm surprised to get such kind response.
      LikeReply3 months ago
    • Soulwriter
      your words are very relatable. Well deserved win!
      LikeReply3 months ago
  • lovingempath
    You have so many reasons you could cry; but I'm happy to know you're still finding reasons to laugh and smile. We need balance in our lives you know :)
    LikeReply3 months ago
    • npirandy
      I'm working on that "balance". But friends like you always help.
      LikeReply 13 months ago
  • connergirl05
    Exquisitely penned! My Gramps would’ve loved it.
    LikeReply 13 months ago
    • npirandy
      Thanks! I'm a "Gramps" myself.
      LikeReply3 months ago
  • makhdoomafuad
    Tell me why I shouldn't cry after reading this genuine, beautiful piece if work :)
    LikeReply 15 months ago
  • Philipo
    Fine work to the core and well, well presented. A learning material too.
    LikeReply 15 months ago
    • npirandy
      Thanks. Buddy. I appreciate it.
      LikeReply5 months ago
  • kamdiesiobu
    I feel like crying.
    I love the poem
    LikeReply5 months ago
    • npirandy
      Go ahead and cry. It will make you feel better.
      Thanks,
      Randy
      LikeReply5 months ago
  • bkizzle
    I love this poem. It's tough to read while keeping your eyes dry.
    It's beauty is very overwhelming. Tell me why I shouldn't cry.

    Inspiring, Randy!
    LikeReply5 months ago
    • npirandy
      I am so glad you understand the message.
      LikeReply5 months ago
  • Steppenwolf
    Beautiful, Randy! BTW, Real Men cry.
    LikeReply 15 months ago
  • bibri.pires
    This is an incredible poem and has so much emotion.

    I'm reading a book about women in classical antiquity and it tells a lot about the toxicity of men and aggressiveness and evolutionary quality in men to be automatically strong and stoic.
    So this poem really challenges that destructive stereotype and portrays a softness/sensitivity in you and for men in general. I really loved this, thank you for sharing! 
    LikeReply 15 months ago
  • mattp.77832
    So here I sit with weathered hands and hair of silver gray,
    With memories my loyal friends, as I face each new day.
    The tales of life, both happy, sad, I harbor no deny,
    With tear-streaked face, I brave the dusk. My last cry and goodbye. 
    LikeReply 15 months ago
    • Jd003984
      oh wow beautiful
      LikeReply 25 months ago
  • dig1talninjawastaken
    yes
    LikeReply5 months ago
  • Vixility
    Well-deserved win and wonderful poem.

    I was caught off guard one time as a young boy in the theater with my grandmother who took me to see, "The Fox and the Hound". After that movie ended and we made our way to her car, my grandmother explained to me that crying is a form of compassion ('caring' is the word she used), and that when we cry it's just a sign that we care about others and the events that surround them. From that day forward, I never felt ashamed to cry. My grandmother would have loved this poem. 
    LikeReply 15 months ago
    • makhdoomafuad
      A timeless message from your wise grandma! May she rest in peace.
      LikeReply5 months ago
  • Jd003984
    Beautiful poem
    LikeReply5 months ago
  • michaelp.54376
    Beautiful poem... and rings very true for and boys if all ages.
    LikeReply5 months ago
    • npirandy
      Thanks Mike. That was my goal.
      LikeReply5 months ago
  • anthonyr.47224
    Simply it spoke to me. Life always changing , the heaviness of falling, with the feeling you’ll never come out. And the other is the lightness that seems for a moment. This is in All ,the secret we hold is that we won’t admit. We hide in plain sight ,not sure if they can’t see us or us,them. We are passing through alone. Let tears flow for that 
    LikeReply5 months ago
    • npirandy
      Gee! Even your critique is poetic.
      Thanks
      LikeReply5 months ago
  • grosbyrne
    The poem has great rhythm. I enjoyed it immensely. My only thought after reading it was to say why you shouldn't cry. My wife an i lost a child at 5 months old. It might be hard for you to believe that that child did in 5 months perhaps mor than my other 4 children have ever done for me. I heard the Lord say at the point of her death, make peace with your Father now. Since that time I have known the Lord is in control of every moment of my life. I know that today even though I continue to sin like every other person on this earth except Christ. He takes mine and your sin forever . We are alive in christ even when we feel dead or lost. 
    LikeReply 15 months ago
    • npirandy
      I am truly sorry for your loss. Let’s hope it brings inspiration to your poetry. From the bad, may some good come!
      LikeReply5 months ago
  • B.mathislange
    The poem resonated with me on so many levels. I have 8 beautiful brothers all over six feet tall who struggled with emotions. Some of them literally would blow a gasket before shedding one single tear. Only wish I could of shared this with the three who have passed away. They really needed to hear this. Thank you so much. 
    LikeReply 15 months ago
    • npirandy
      I'm 6'4" and 265#. Would I fit in with your beloved brothers? I'd love to meet them.
      LikeReply5 months ago
    • B.mathislange
      You could stand at four foot nine and weigh 265 and i'd embrace you in this family. Just from the way this poem touched my heart. My brothers arte scattered all over the USA from sea to shining sea.You uplifted my unproductive day with your comment.. Thank you. 
      LikeReply5 months ago
    • npirandy
      You are too kind!
      LikeReply5 months ago
  • BensonLawson
    I often find myself hiding emotions and this poem captures how I feel during the times when tears beg to be let loose.
    LikeReply5 months ago
    • npirandy
      I learned a long time ago. Let it all hang out. You'll feel better.
      LikeReply5 months ago

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"Tell Me Why I Shouldn't Cry" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 2 Mar. 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/168403/tell-me-why-i-shouldn't-cry>.

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