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Some men can bear
immense loads by choice
or otherwise.  Others only
carry so much.

His grandmother,  trailered,
bearded,  alone with
the stares and her swearing.
His parents,

The other grandmother,
unable to stand the verbal
lashings of grandfather,
was disabled,  then nothing.

His grandfather,  the abuser of two
children,  physical,  verbal,
and otherwise.  His sister profane,
now wife to an abusive baby-
making machine of
seven so far. Three sons, now raised by his friend,

His friend,  with him, pulled a number of all nighters. Pizza.
Soda. Chatting there and
online,  called

This man, Robert, too
was tormented by his past.
And present.  He grew distant.
Every relationship
a failure.  Cigarettes,  alcohol,
an STD, some pills,   who knew
what else. Nothing fixed
the pain. Nothing filled
the soul.

Ultimately,  his grandfather
committed him to
a small room.
This distance,  another
ill attempted fix.
Finally, one friend,
a black belt,
a defender, and only
visible means
of support,
size 42.