Toxic Masculinity

Five a.m. comes strolling in
And I wake to greet the dawn
Gone are the days of sleeping in
When you are a rich man’s pawn

My life became a tumult
As my hair grows little grey each day
There could be another result
If I could only find the way

I have to feed my children
Empower all those in my family
Laziness when I was young was a sin
And from that maxim I will never be free

Each day in cold or rain or bitter heat
I line up to toil endlessly with my hands
It’s like I am a piece of meat
And no one understands

I’m trapped and yet I never truly see
What it is that keeps me under someone else’s thumb
I’m trapped in toxic masculinity
And I can’t stand what my life has become

_Leif lives in McCauley. His books can be found at the Edmonton Public Library or at Mint Health + Drugs on 96 Street. You can visit his website at

Janis Irwin MLA
Vista Housing

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We are always looking for new writers and photographers, as well as ideas for future stories. We also regularly need block carriers to help with the delivery and distribution of the paper. Email Paula with your submissions, feedback, ideas, and availability. We also ask that contributors read our Editorial Guidelines and that all volunteers read and agree to our Code of Conduct.

Next Issue . . .

Volume 41, Issue 2 will be published March 15, 2020. Articles and photos concerning community news, events, and opinions are welcome. We also accept submissions of poetry and cartoons. Deadline: February 20, 2020. Send submissions to: Articles should be 400 words or less and accompanied by photographs (JPG, in high resolution) when possible.