My brother and I sit and watch TV.
He says to me, What would you do?
What would you say, if like that guy
your son told you that he was gay?
He says to me, I'd punch him in the face;
not to really hurt him I guess, but just to
tell him I was mad, more or less. Really
mad that he had turned out this way, and that
he did not understand what he'd chosen;
what it would truly mean to be gay.
His life would be hard, he wouldn't have kids
to run in his yard, as if that's what we did.
Honestly, if he told you that's the way
he wants to live, be with men night and day…
I would not have it, but what would you do?
It's my secret, I tell him, and that’s all I'll say.
E R Olsen
A Closet by Another Name
E R Olsen writes poetry and practices law in Nevada, in the U.S., where
he lives with his wife and four children. His poems have appeared in
several U.S. journals, most recently in Viking.