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 TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

CODEC Stories:

18 Responses

  1. C.B. Anderson

    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.

  2. Paul Freeman

    Can a 16-year-old enter the under 5 egg-and-spoon-race if they were born on a leap year?

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Dear Mr. Freeman,
      Why worry about leap year? Is your method of counting any better than anyone else’s? What about inclusion?

    • Jan Darling

      Only if the egg has been allowed to defrost in an inclusive atmosphere.

  3. Joe Tessitore

    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.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      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).

      • Joe Tessitore

        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

      Joe, my laugh out loud moment of the afternoon. Thank you for this gem.

  4. Jeff Eardley

    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!

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      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.

      • Joe Tessitore

        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

        Keep those complaints and laments coming! They are heartening to those of us who see Seuss and Sue and other motives for them.

  5. Julian D. Woodruff

    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.

  6. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    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.

  7. David Watt

    Well done Julian for ably highlighting a ridiculous and sinister situation.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.