. Ex-Freedom of Speech In fact, most liberals don't support free speech today, And often see a need for censorship instead. They claim “misinformation” causes broad decay, So free speech ends if they dislike what’s being said. . . Listeners Good listeners seem hard to find these days. More people, when you’re talking, in effect, Aren’t truly listening to what you say, But looking for a place to interject. . . Criticisms Which criticisms Do the most To bother you? Those false and spiteful Or the ones Which might be true? . . Apple Tree Such lovely people---sweet and kind they are, And thus our friendship dates back rather far. But I have noticed they have every “ism,” And always view through quite a far left prism. At college age their daughter came out gay; My friends supported her in every way. Then recently she said that she was trans, Took “they, them” pronouns, a name more like a man’s. The parents fast adjusted to the name, But longtime plural words weren’t quite the same, For sometimes, always accidentally, From habit they would utter “her” or “she.” Their kid took that as massive disrespect, Necessitating total disconnect, And so between them all communication, Immediately was put in cessation. This made, of course, the parents very sad. They wondered what they’d done that was so bad. I mull if left wing notions introduced, Have brought some kind of chicken home to roost. . . Russel Winick recently started writing poetry at nearly age 65, after ending a long legal career. He resides in Naperville, Illinois.