Photography, Poetry and Art Projects by Ciaran Burke

You think you know someone

Would our parents still approve
 if I was poor
 if I quit my job of social standing
 became a gardener
 refused to be wed in a church
 stood my ground
 and refused to indoctrinate
 our son and daughter
 into their Catholic religion
 no communion rites
 confirming parties, wedding gowns
 no bride in white
 if they knew that you were no virgin.

 Would you let me go if you knew
 that I hated cats
 lied to you about liking Friends
 hated your friend
 never did want to get married
 nor have kids
 but my mother said we were 
 so good together
 and your father would not
 let you live in sin
 if I told you I hate staying in
 I dread Friday nights
 can't face another Late Late Show.

 Would you want to be my friend
 if I wore pink shirts
 told you that I sucked a cock
 swallowed cum
 let a fat girl finger my bum
 kissed a bloke
 who wore fishnets stockings
 that I fancied 
 chubby girls and skinny men
 had threesomes
 with a leather clad married couple
 blew an Asian guy 
 while you ordered pints at the bar.

 Who would still treat me as normal
 if I spoke my truth
 stand beside me in the local pub
 knowing of my vices
 accepting my sexual orientation
 my self determination
 embrace me at the family gathering
 embracing my choices
 could you look at me the same again
 if I told my truth
 unburdened my secrets and my past
 no I don't think so
 so I stay silent, I smile and I pretend.
Ciaran Burke
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