In my lifetime, I have tried to be open-minded and non-judgmental. While I enjoy lively debate, it’s been my goal to respect the opinions of others and to welcome new ideas. But I might have been pushed beyond my limits by the news–reported by CNN–that Facebook is adding new choices to its profile gender options. Now, Facebook users may identify themselves not just as male or female, but alternatively with terms such as transgender, gender fluid, and intersex. According to CNN, page owners also may select personal pronouns for referencing themselves: he/him, she/her, or the gender-neutral they/their. Now I realize I am rarely the voice of reason regarding such hot-button issues, but I have had enough of this nonsense and will therefore take up the flag.

PEOPLE:  The words “they” and “their” are NOT gender neutral pronouns. They are PLURAL pronouns. When will the madness end?


Private Property -- Men Confess Why They're Br...



It is said Women sprang forth from Venus,
Masterpiece of class, species, and genus.
And they reach for the stars,
Unlike Men, sent from Mars
Who must filter each thought through a penis.


June, 2013


Mom and Dad, around 1952

Mom and Dad, around 1952

When the cancer had eaten its fill,
Little was left of Dad.
He was diminished
And oh, he had been handsome
Just ask Mom
She recalled wistfully his dark hair
And fine looks vaguely reminiscent of Elvis
A real catch
To me, he was ruddy and practical
Middle aged paunch and square glasses
But the disease made us both liars
He was shrunken

I was fourteen, the years in my life
Equal to the months in his death
I was fourteen, primed for my moment
In the spotlight of adolescence
But really of little use or effect
In our current circumstance
Which was dire
My brothers were older
Practically men
I couldn’t drive to hospital visits
Or take on part time work
Fourteen was a nuisance who still needed tending
Who couldn’t be trusted
Or leaned upon

When the end could not be postponed
There arose the matter of clothes
My brothers were excused
Because they could drive
Because they could work
Practically men
So this was my job
After all, what fourteen-year-old girl
Doesn’t like to shop
For clothes?
We spoke in a secret language:
Easter is coming, said Mom
And Dad needs a new suit
She knew the code
The clerk knew
I knew

I sat on a stool in the corner
Watching the arrayal
Knowing the casket was ready
A drape of ivory satin
A touch of dogwood carving
Our clerk was equal to the task
Offered up tweeds, checks, herringbones
Double breasted and single
How do I look? asked Dad
So I pictured him dressed and
Resting against that satin pillow
Forever after
In charcoal
Or navy

When the suit had been procured
Wine-colored and plaid
It was the 1970’s
Just ask anyone
We turned our attention to dresses
From the only posh shop in our rural town
A real treat
This time there was no secret code
After all, what would be the point?
We’d grown tired of pretending
And asked for something funereal
The sales girl was honored

You might wear this outfit again
She suggested helpfully
And oh, I scoffed
What woman would wear again a dress
That had seen her husband sent to the life beyond?
We would burn them
Mom’s sedate black and white-jacketed ensemble
With mine of light blue and green
Burn and bury the memories
Salt the earth afterward
But of course we didn’t
There would be no fire
No liturgy
No rite

When those days had passed into the past
Little was left to say
We were exhausted
And needed to move ahead
As survivors must
The funeral clothes occupied awkward space
Between artifact and awful reminder
My brothers, who had simply called on existing garments
Lost their leisure suits to merciful obsolescence|
Mom’s widow costume reverently wrapped in white tissue
Put away, neither seen nor forgotten
My blue and green frock donated to charity
But there is plaid
In Heaven



Crossing The Road


Along Interstate 80 stood Bambi,
Concentration–at best–namby pamby.
At the wake later, Crow
Paid respects to his bro:
Said, “At least you taste better than spam, B!”