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An All-American Fairy (Free verse) by Edna Sweetlove
He stares at the mirror in total disbelief Is that really him, that sad creature looking back? He plucks out an intruding white hair, A stranger in his aggressive, bushy eyebrows; Those boyish good looks are still there he hopes Although a little frayed, a little worn by time, Maybe his forehead is a little higher than it used to be, But he’s sure he’d pass for thirty five or less. He likes to think he’s, well, rugged is his favourite word, Manly, masculine, handsome, still quite a hunk Surely no one would guess he was a fairy (Not that he thinks of himself as such of course). At least he knows better than to sport a clone moustache Although he can’t resist those sporty lumberjack shirts. And he always acts so butch, striding manfully along, Never mincing, resisting self-admiring glances at his reflection. Working out at the gym, pumping iron, building his pecs So they will be noticed by the sort of guy he likes. Naturally, he has to take a lot of care at his sports club, Being careful not to stare longingly at the other guys, Eyes lingering on their taut little hairy buns As they laugh and joke in the shower stalls, And NEVER NEVER loitering in the urinals As much as he would oh-so-much like to do. Growing up gay in small town America is hard, Especially when you prefer writing poetry to playing ball, And when everyone in town knows everyone else And who dated whom and who kissed whom; So he had to go through the pretence of flirting, But he showed respect for every father’s daughter; What a gentleman he was, but in reality terrified Of not being able to get a hard-on when a girl said yes. He kept his love life to frequent furtive visits To the LA bath houses on longed-for weekends When he escaped to visit his big-town relatives, Only letting his true nature come to the fore On hard saved-up for trips to foreign lands Cavorting with carefree Mexican or Greek rent boys Hanging out in gay bars where no one knew his folks And he could try and forget about his guilt. The years passed and he waited for his parents’ death So he could move house and be himself, a poet maybe, A creative artist, be true to himself at last, but time never helped. And even now he trolls the web under a pseudonym Reduced to using a ten-year old photograph as bait, A photo of him in his long since faded winsome prime. And how sad it is he never made his mark upon the world, Never lived up to his poor old Daddy’s dreams. He might have been an all-American soldier boy, But, although he never had the balls for that, He yields to no one in his blind patriotism, And he’s met a few cute marines in MacArthur Park For an overpaid grope and blow job in the bushes. How he misses his Mommy now, but how shocked she’d be To see her forty-something fairy son staring at the mirror With only a furry dog for company every night.

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