Poet’s Corner: The Straight Man’s Burden

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By Tyler Lascola

Take up the Straight Man’s burden–

Put down the rebel breed–

Go bid your sons to exile

Their hearts’ impious need;

Teach your children to repress

The fluttered folk and wild,

The liberal-minded lovers

Ye formerly reviled.

Take up the Straight Man’s burden–

Despite the turning tide,

To join in common error

And check the show of Pride;

By potent speech most rightful

Our protests they restrain,

But ye can keep them silent

With constant threat of pain.

Take up the Straight Man’s burden–

The world will not know peace

Lest ye purge the populace

And bid the sickness cease;

And when your goal is nearest,

The end to others sought,

Watch untold sympathizers

Bring all your hopes to naught.

Take up the Straight Man’s burden–

Protest same-sex weddings.

(Though Pope Francis seems to be

Benignant toward such things.)

The politicians banter,

Just waiting to be led,

Go coax them with your livings,

And choke the right to wed.

Take up the Straight Man’s burden–

And reap this cold regard:

The shame of those ye better,

The hate of those ye barred,

The cry of hosts ye hasten

(Ah, quickly!) toward the night:

“Why sought he to extinguish

Our iridescent light?”

Take up the Straight Man’s burden–

Ye dare not stoop to less,

Nor stomp too hard on Freedom–

Tarnish her golden dress;

By all ye cry or whisper,

By all the fuss ye stew,

The liberal-minded lovers

Still of your Gods eschew.

Take up the Straight Man’s burden–

Impose old childish ways,

Medieval social standards,

On Lesbians and Gays.

Come now, besmirch your manhood

With Manhood’s basest fears,

Behold the tear-fraught schism:

Prejudgment of the Queers!

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