A Poem on the Equality Act: ‘Second-Place Sue’ by Julian Woodruff The Society April 1, 2021 Culture, Poetry 18 Comments . Sue was the star of Central High. In girls’ athletics she excelled. Her competition would just sigh. The best of it she ably quelled. Track, swimming, wrestling, volleyball— No other girl could match her skill. Twenty-five trophies lined her wall And she looked forward to more still. Alas, her senior year, poor Sue Met competition unexpected. It took a form that was quite new To her and, one might say, confected. While dressing out one afternoon She spotted a familiar face, One that was slightly out of tune With what went on within the space She occupied. She eyed the arms With bulging biceps, and the chest— Expansive, though quite flat its charms— And none too greatly was impressed. “Why, Edwin, it’s—” “Edwina, please!” Her classmate then corrected her. “Of course! Edwina … Near the trees You’ll find a spot where you can spur The girls’ team on. We—” “Me, a cheer Leader? Oh, Sue, you’ve got it wrong. I am a woman now. I’m here To join the team where I belong.” Sue stretched her memory hard: had Ed Finished a notch above fourth place In any tourney, much less sped To victory in a sprinting race? Against not any boy, Sue thought, Nor had he shown much prowess in A baseball suit. Oh sure, he caught Okay, but … well, his bat was thin. Ed’s sore lack of athletic chops Had been a source of disappointment; But never bitter failure stops The one with guts … or else some ointment … Some hormone regimen, perhaps … Some expertise, and means to pay … And, voilá!—glad, proud victory laps Were fair Edwina’s every day. Though quite intent to raise the bar Of girl’s athletics to new heights, Edwina, now the girls’ team’s star, Was generous to lesser lights. One day she hailed the former champ: “You’re just the best … well nearly, Sue! You looked so sharp in training camp; I’m just so glad that we’re one–two.” . . Julian D. Woodruff was a teacher, orchestral musician, and librarian. He served for several years as librarian at the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA. He now resides in the area of Rochester, NY, where he writes poetry and fiction, much of it for children. His work has appeared in Frostfire Worlds and on the websites of Carmina, Parody Poetry, and Reedsy. His GPS poem placed tenth in the last riddle contest of The Society of Classical Poets. NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 18 Responses C.B. Anderson April 2, 2021 I would laugh, if only to keep from crying, but such dark humor keeps me up at night, and I can’t imagine what will come next. Shall men bear babies and give suck to them? My mother always told me that it was wrong for a boy to hit a girl, but now, apparently, it’s wrong for a girl to expect anything else. Apparently we are now expected to ignore and dismiss biological facts. “Follow the science” applies only when it’s politically convenient, in this instance as in so many other instances. Say goodbye to civilization, and say goodbye to any sort of sanity. It’s over now. This is the new world. Reply Paul Freeman April 2, 2021 Can a 16-year-old enter the under 5 egg-and-spoon-race if they were born on a leap year? Reply Joe Tessitore April 2, 2021 Reason need not apply; Insanity draws nigh. Reply Julian D. Woodruff April 2, 2021 Dear Mr. Freeman, Why worry about leap year? Is your method of counting any better than anyone else’s? What about inclusion? Reply Jan Darling April 4, 2021 Only if the egg has been allowed to defrost in an inclusive atmosphere. Reply Joe Tessitore April 2, 2021 The earth is a planet of fools. A place where insanity rules. With a nip and a tuck Make a Claire out of Chuck At the price of the family jewels. Reply Julian D. Woodruff April 2, 2021 Wow, Mr. Tessitore! Is it too obvious to say this limerick sparkles, what with the double-entendre. I hope you make a complement about the additions and subtractions involved in going the opposite direction (if I’m using the proper terminology). Reply Joe Tessitore April 2, 2021 You inspired me. I recently read what’s involved in these procedures and it/they are truly barbaric. Keep in mind that Mr. Biden would happily spend my tax dollars to inflict it on an eight-year-old. Mr. Limbaugh used to call one of the procedures an add-a-dick-to-me. Jeff Eardley April 2, 2021 Joe, my laugh out loud moment of the afternoon. Thank you for this gem. Reply Jeff Eardley April 2, 2021 Julian, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. It ought to be on the school curriculum here in England. From one who’s ears emit steam on seeing regularly on box-ticking forms, the words “Sex….Male…Female….Other” or even worse, “More categories required” Just off to check on the Crown Jewels…..the ones in Windsor by the way! Reply Julian D. Woodruff April 2, 2021 Glad you enjoyed this, Jeff. It accurately reflects my sour mood these days, and you may see still more from me in the same vein in the future. To many it may not make heartening reading, but I think unless the complaints keep coming we’ll be facing outrages like this indefinitely. Reply Joe Tessitore April 2, 2021 Like this and worse. I can’t seem to break loose from writing about it either, but it’s very refreshing when I do. Margaret Coats April 2, 2021 Keep those complaints and laments coming! They are heartening to those of us who see Seuss and Sue and other motives for them. Julian D. Woodruff April 2, 2021 In response to the comment from Mr. Tessitore immediately below the 2nd of mine: considering the outrage that used to be directed toward genital mutilation in other parts of the world, what’s going on here now is the height of hypocracy. Reply Joe Tessitore April 2, 2021 And they’re doing it to children. Reply Michael Dashiell April 3, 2021 Quite entertaining Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant April 4, 2021 Julian, you highlight the heinous atrocities of today’s governance perfectly in this poem, and it chills me to the bone. Very well done, indeed. Reply David Watt April 4, 2021 Well done Julian for ably highlighting a ridiculous and sinister situation. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.