In this post-gender world
Some say there are sixty-three types.
Others scoff and proclaim just two
Holding tight to zebra-style binary stripes.
They mourn for a life that was simple
But the labels keep breeding, vicious as darts
So you’ve got to keep moving
Zig-zagging now the finest of arts.
They’re coming to trap you
Can you stay free of the nets?
Climb high to the rooftops,
avoiding the threats.
Hello, I am me.
Pin the blame on Linnaeus
Primal urge being sated, to categorise all living things
Order, genera, species – surely that is enough?
Why must we go deeper – ever tightening rings.
Fragile specimens painfully studied and pinned
Yet still not understanding?
We are each one unique.
Call time, make a halt, say enough to the branding
For who needs a label?
This poem was the result of a challenge to write on the topic of gender. This is such an emotive subject these days and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say on the subject. What emerged was a poem echoing my belief that our obsession with labels is often unhelpful.