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Grandchildren [Ambivalence]

by Gerard Sarnat


On the one paw

mine are more than the raccoons

we were to our grandpa.


But on another

growing up during post WWII in

America seemed hopeful.


Free-range times

without parents hovering, worried

to death regards safety.


Yes, repression

did reign vis-à-vis expressions of

sexuality/gender identity.


Which forced

pre as well as adolescent friends

nada to explore where fit.


Or to exist in

neurotic —often lonely—closets

that scarred development.


Older grandsons

(not a girl among my six so far)

understand fluidity concept.


Evi, youngest of

grandkids, chip off dad Eli’s block,

name captures present gender Zeitgeist.


Unlike bimodal

off-on boy/ girl simplistic switch

governed Gerard’s generation.


Yet oy expanded love

horizons do have their own risks

especially given pandemic.


Even before

current mental health epidemics

there was a suicide cauldron.



experimentation can be nourishing

though you’re concerned about kids.

Gerard Sarnat has been nominated for the pending Science Fiction Poetry Association Dwarf Star Award, won San Francisco Poetry’s 2020 Contest, the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for handfuls of Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published including in 2023 San Diego Poetry Annual, 2022 Awakenings Review, 2022 Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County Celebration, 2022 Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival Anthology, Pocket Samovar, Free State, The Broken City, Sandy River Review, Three Rooms Press/Maintenant, New World Writing, The Font, BigCityLit, HitchLit Review, Lowestoft, Washington Square Review, The Deronda Review, Jewish Writing Project, Hong Kong Review, Tokyo Poetry Journal, Buddhist Poetry Review, Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, Arkansas Review, Hamilton-Stone Review, Northampton Review, New Haven Poetry Institute, Texas Review, Vonnegut Journal, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, Monterey Poetry Review, The Los Angeles Review, and The New York Times as well as by NYU, Slippery Rock, Northwestern, Pomona, Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Penn, Columbia, North Dakota, McMaster, Maine, University of British Columbia and University of Chicago  and University of Virginia presses. He is a Harvard College and Medical School-trained physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the disenfranchised as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. Currently he is devoting energy/ resources to deal with climate justice, and serves on Climate Action Now’s board. Gerry’s been married since 1969 with progeny consisting of four collections (Homeless Chronicles: From Abraham To Burning Man, Disputes, 17s, Melting the Ice King)  plus three kids/ six grandsons  — and is looking forward to potential future granddaughters. 

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