Dirt Boys

Sarah McMahon
2 min readMay 12, 2024

This is the first poem in my recently released book Dirt Girl. You can find the entire collection on Amazon here, or find the audiobook on Chirp here.

Dirt Boys

I asked my mother if she ever knew a dirt boy

a hurt boy

a salt-of-the-earth-shattered-heart’s-still-cracked boy

she said Hun, I married one

once, when I was young, a dirt-boy-hurt-boy

told me he loved me then pulled out a condom

as if love were the key to unlock promiscuity

the next day my mother explained the birds and the bees

gave me a set of car keys and free reign to do as I pleased warned me about the dirt boys with rabbits up their sleeves and the hurt boys who needed identities

my father was a dirt boy in that he farmed pigs for a living in the days before cell phones or cable TV

farmed corn and soybeans, dug up the earth before it swallowed him whole

planted tiny seeds that could feed his family

my father was a hurt boy

in that his own father went missing

hid beneath a bridge until we all gave up looking