She had been taught how to cook

Her steak to perfection, and

To pluck her eyebrows well.

Never the tactics to pull her own luggage,

Or to fix a leaking tap, or

Change a faulty bulb.

She had been taught to speak softly,

And not cause pandemonium, and

Converse in head nods and tight lipped smiles;

To never giggle or cause commotion.

She wondered why wasn’t she taught

To react while being groped, how to

Kick someone right in the shin

So they’d topple clutching their feet, or

How to elbow in the ribs, for

She had only been taught how to

Sit with poise, with palms on the lap;

How to cross and uncross, and

Tangle and spread, and tuck under

The knees and cross at the ankles, and

More ways to sit like a girl while

Wearing a skirt.