I went out hiking
With my buddy Gerry,
Who was a Viking.
And he said he was in love.
As we stepped over rocks and streams,
He shared his viking dreams,
To be with his one love, Sven.
Of course I have to say,
That Gerry’s preference was men,
Not that you’d think that he was gay,
As he didn’t fit a stereotype.
Gerry said that stereotypes
Were societies bonds, chaining him
To the image that the media portrays.
And you never see a Viking that is gay.
I shrugged as we walked through
The forest, climbing the mountain
as he rabbited on about
gay porn and how none of them
seem to have beards.
Which to him was a bit weird.
We disagreed on this point, but
we didn’t have much time to discuss
the matter as we ran in to a mother bear,
We both stood still. I didn’t breathe. I waited.
But Gerry wasn’t very good at bear confrontation and ran for it.
Despite my best attempts at beating the bear with
a large stick that I had been carrying,
Gerry’s fate was sealed. I threw a rock at the bear and
hit it square on the head but it was too late.
His dying breathe was unintelligable. It sounded like
He was gargling mouthwash, but it was blood as his
internal organs bled within his torso.
I could tell in his eyes that he knew Vikings were
not cut out for hiking. I could tell in his eyes he knew
That his love for Sven was now not to come to anything.
And in that moment his life slipped away and
Gerry the Gay Viking, was no more.
I tracked down Sven a few weeks later.
He was also a gay viking who had been away in Nepal
Teaching english to happy Nepalese kids.
Given his location he had not received news of Gerry’s demise.
He was stunned. His horned helmet slipped off to reveal the
shock of red hair that Gerry had said he had fallen for.
Sven didn’t cry, but tears streamed from his eyes.
As he confessed his love for Gerry, with whom he had met
At the Viking Expo in Stockholm only last year.
Sven learned to live with the grief after a while, but still he
keeps a photo of himself and Gerry in a frame above his
Chez long. When Sven returned from Nepal, he started a counselling
Service for gay vikings who were struggling with their
sexuality. It was incredibly rewarding work.
I felt reassured, had Gerry confessed his love to Sven,
They would have been incredibly happy together, raiding, pillaging
looting and enjoying Mohitos on their longboat as they travelled the world.
Sometimes I remember Gerry’s eyes on that mountain journey,
The way they lit up when he stopped me mid-trail and
said how ‘Sven lifted him up over the moon’, and that
‘his feet never touched the ground after I saw him for the first time’
Because this is exactly how I felt for Gerry the first time I met him.