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Naturally Speaking


You always say your love is
As true and natural as mine,
And while it is no doubt so,
That it stirs in me an odd disquiet
seems to me just as natural
A reaction as your love to you,
But you simply dismiss it
As prejudice, if not bigotry,
And there is some of that
I agree, though I have tried
Truly, in my way, to be free.

But I do ponder now and then
How you can be so certain
That when your presence shifts,
Like a lissome dancer on stage,
From the fringe to the center
Of our porous collective memory
It will not in any way change
What and how my child thinks
About her emerging sexuality
Or make her rethink even,
All that she thought originally.

For if there is one thing I know
With a measure of certainty,
It is that in this strange orgy
Of not so random influences
Broadcasting the primacy
of our distinct individuality,
Free will that is being made
And unmade every other day,
Is queerly, a long way from free.

So while I shall stand firmly
By your inalienable rights today,
Knowing well it is no crime
Nor an illness in your mind
To be cured, by daily practice
Of deep breathing and Kundalini,
Or counting prayers on the rosary
I nevertheless harbor the worry
no change in law can quite bury,

In a dozen years from now,
Maybe a little earlier or later,
When you begin to exchange
rings, intimate hugs and kisses
In prime time on reality TV,
Plastic little minds watching
Will begin to wonder unwittingly,
Proceed to question how they feel
And what they want or ought to do;
Many times over too, maybe.

And that, I have to confess
Does not seem or feel
Quite right or natural to me,
Nevertheless, be that as it may,
It won’t be your cross to bear
(always this religious analogy)
Any more than it will be mine,
I can only hope, they will find
In their minds, a way to be free,
As hard as that is likely to be.

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