Photo credit: Juli
From the Tawny, Scrawny Lion
to the Bridge to Terabithia,
You think you know what the world’s about
‘Til it’s torn out from underneath o’ ya’.


I liked digging in the dirt
And riding in the bed of the truck.
But all of a sudden that wasn’t ladylike
And I was out of luck.


A change occurs in all of us
From 11 to 16–
A time when diff’rences emerge,
And there’s no longer in-between.


Some individuals resist,
And maintain androgyny;
But most, by far, conform to norms and
Identify “he” or “she.”


High school’s rough enough, for sure,
Without this added pressure
Of figuring out what gender means
And navigating sexual measure.


One day though, the pieces fit,
And you finally understand
Just who you are, and what you like,
And where you’ll make your stand.


That is of course, until about
The age of 22,
When you learn that you picked wrong,
And your persona isn’t “you.”


Agonizing begins again.
What is true? What is narrow?
You’ll find yourself in some curious beds
Just to prove that you’re not harrowed


By the Man, or by the Book,
Or by the Femi-Nazi Cadre–
The sexing variables so vast
You’ll need your Fibonacci Padre.


Bit by bit it settles down,
And you find a comfort zone.
You’ll be with someone for a while
And sometimes you’ll be alone.


The years will pass, as years they do,
With no more questions nagging.
And some of the parts that you liked best,
Alas, will go a-sagging.


But, at least you’ll think, I finally know,
My outlets from my plugs.
And how I’m wired from stem to stern
And whether I like jugs.


One day, though, when you least expect
A person will walk by,
And there’ll be no rhyme or reason to it
But they’ll turn your steady eye.


The point is this, no one knows for sure,
Until they meet the individual,
How their bodies will react
And how much “homo” is conditional.


So, dear friends, let’s find a way
To be gentle and be lenient,
Lest we find ourselves in a paradox
Of moral inconvenience.


About the Author


Chris Mencken Bostick is a native of Baltimore, and attended UMBC, graduating with a degree in English and Creative Writing. After working as a writer for state agencies, national non-profits and a campaign for U.S. Senate, she moved to New Orleans in 2006 to marry a surly old curmudgeon who made her the happiest woman it is possible for a woman like her to be. Since moving here, she has worked primarily as a massage therapist because the money was better than working in local politics; her stomach had also gotten a bit sour on the political machine. She has come here to B2L2, because, deep down, she always thought maybe she had something to say. So, we'll see, now, won't we?

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