The Snail Ideal


When I was just a baby snail, I chose all clothes of blue.
I giggled. “Goo goo ga ga.” Mama answered “Coochie coo.”

But as I grew, I knew I looked nice in chartreuse and pink.
And Mama never care a whit ’bout what the neighbors think.

“Be yourself,” she said. “For that’s the thing we all do well.
Let no one tell you what to wear when you’re in your own shell.”

When I was just a baby snail, Dad bought me soldier rattles.
And just before my bedtime I would watch them wage their battles.

But as I grew, he and I brewed pots of rosemary tea,
And perfumed all my dollhouses with passion potpourri.

“Be yourself,” my Daddy said. “Don’t let others presume
To tell you how you should behave when you’re in your own room.”

When it was time for dating, I went out to meet my fate.
I eyed the hunks and harlots till I spied the perfect mate.

We belched at all the ball games, and we swooned at the ballets.
Together we attended the hermaphrodite soirees.

“Be yourself,” my partner said. “Someday you’ll be my spouse.
No one can tell us who to love when we’re in our own house.”

Of all God’s creatures, mollusks might not be the most evolved,
Though prejudice, I’m proud to say, is one problem that we’ve solved.

We never try to impede anybody’s natural growth,
Whether they are happy being female, male, or both.