Volume 33, Number 4

Freedom Canceled

No, you can’t decide
to end your pregnancy

and don’t ask a doctor for help

No, we won’t bake a cake for your wedding
It’s against our religion; you are against our religion

and don’t ask the courts for help

No, you’re not a girl
It says so on your birth certificate

and don’t ask your parents for help

No, you are not a boy
so don’t dress like a boy

and don’t ask your teachers for help

No, you can’t use that bathroom
or compete on this team

And don’t ask the coach for help

No, we won’t say “they” instead of “he” or “she”
That pronoun shuffle breaks the rules

of grammar, of society, of propriety

No, you can’t talk about
your two moms or two dads

And don’t you dare say gay

No, you don’t need to wait
to buy a gun

And don’t leave home without it

—Emily-Sue Sloane