Lee Schwartz


Gay Sheep

There’s a lab off the Pacific Highway
where they snare gay sheep, turn them straight,
no more wooly love come dragging
by the top edge of the hill.

Injecting gay sheep with estrogen
to keep the natural order,:
replant fences and implant desire,
to plump them up for slaughter chops.

We play God in the garden
while most species in the wild are choked,
the salmon have lost their way,
snared in black tarry waters, the seal extinct.

The future is drawn in plastic buckets,
genes in savings deposit vaults,
tinkering with nature’s Gameboy,
creating dwarf melons, mating grapes.

What does man want to extol
that Thoreau has not celebrated,
while we go sheep shopping at the Gap,
admiring every hanger of iceberg lettuce.

Don’t tell me who to love,
Don’t legislate my heart to fall on blue or brown eyes,
I am not your coal mine or your cornfield,
I will choose whose lips to warm.

And the sheep with the coarse and wiry coat?
Wouldn’t we prefer sleek and glossy?
What about seeing eye cats? Faster turtles?
Deer that don’t stop in the headlights?

You go down that long Pacific highway
and build a Sparta to keep up with the trends,
see if you can weed out the gene that pulls the trigger,
rapes women, and votes Republican.

Ms. Lee Schwartz likes to explore her world from the handlebars of her English racer. Her daughter just started Smith college and she's enjoying her second home with her husband in Great Barrington. She has published in several small journals and been a poet in residence at the 92nd St. Y. You can find her reading at the Bowery Poetry Club/ KGB Bar and Blue Stockings in downtown NYC. She is a winner of the Patterson Literary Review Allen Ginsberg Award 2008 and 2009.

(author retains copyright)