Jekyll and Hyde

by Dean Hansen

What if we silenced the language of fear,
The language of blame and disgust?
The language that turns all our passions to crimes,
That makes THEM the culprit, not US?

What if we called all the prostitutes friends,
And all the degenerates lovers?
And learned to upturn the pejorative clause,
That makes wicked and wanton our brothers?

What if the sluts and the rakes and the sots,
Accustomed to rude condescension,
Were suddenly honored as equals and peers,
The epithets placed in suspension?

What if the prodigals sold into sin,
Concupiscent, filthy and vile,
Switched their positions from outside to in,
And let us be scapegoats awhile?

What if the dykes and the faggots rebelled,
And the sodomites made us change places?
And we were compelled, scarlet letter and all,
To wear egg for awhile on our faces?

What if the sanctum sanctorum slid down,
And indentured itself as a servant,
Of all the rabble it previously found,
The best proof of our hate raw and fervent?

What if the decadent, vulgar and lewd,
The carnal, corrupt and depraved,
Were held in esteem by the very same God,
Who punished the ones who behaved?

And the tarts and adulterers, fairies and queens,
Made a festival from the occasion,
Insisting that we, in imperious glee,
Were the ones He could truly call brazen?

And what if this Jubilee sought for its king,
A celebrant lowly and vile,
Who merged his obscurity and his estate,
With the dregs that we once put on trial?

It may be accomplishment learned at some cost,
To discover words poison their speaker,
That the value of flinging them has to be weighed,
With the danger they pose to their keeper.

And what if the last word were also the first,
And love and forgiveness the rule?
And the graduate class were the scum of the earth,
And the pious were forced back to school?

Where would we go with our rudderless ship,
If that wagging old member were silent,
And every rude phrase that were shot from the hip,
Ricocheted back from victim to violent?

Or all the illusions pretentious and foul,
That kept us all smugly self serving,
Were turned into treasure and placed in the care,
Of the ones we assumed least deserving?

None of the losers would call it good news,
And more of the winners would heckle….
But why take the potion that turns you to Hyde,
When you waited so long to be Jekyll?


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