She as a she sped first to each line,
only later trailed by rumbling doubts
on her right to speed; previously known
as from there and now this,
they aren’t yet a ‘they’
though it might be polite
to use that pronoun in light
of the duelling Caster debate.
Neither a Budd nor a Johnson is she.
Such terms of reference are unseemly
and slight, but labels, titles,
ultimate arbiters, mean greatness and glory –
at a time of debate – on the merits of might,
for instead of her fight for podium places, lab
tests define the chances of gold. Beakers
and pipettes fuel Clarence McClung‘s run
in a fact-based gendered marathon.