No. 24 Poems for International Women’s Day



                            The Betrayal

The privilege was ours as we joined

Young and old together

Over biscuits and copious tea

Scrutinising body shapes

Man-made shapes


Self harm

Shapes and movies

Self esteem

And when the film stopped.

She said

But we must always be in fashionfor iwd

Politeness and sympathy prevailed

And we let it pass. 


At the community centre

The women pursed their wrinkly lips

And screwed their eyes through sewing needles

Planning the routes of their threads

I edged in my unwanted voice to the pool

Do men come here?

A chorus spat back

They’ve got their carpentry


My sister’s a carpenter

My daughters a plumber

Fanny’s your aunt

And I left there

Neither excusing bad behaviour

Nor respecting my peers.


It was party time

Toys coloured the floor.

Dolly in her pram sat

Arms stretched upwards

And legs wide apart

Dinosaurs in rigor mortis sets

Saw the door open

And heard the united tut

As aunties looked down

At the boy.

They kicked the pink buggy

And a crumpled face erupted

Into confusion and rage-hot tears.


Boy Girl Girl Boy Pink Blue

Blue Pink Pink Blue Girl Boy

Roses are red Violets are blue

Little Boy Blue                                                      playin at The Mill


This is ongoing.

Despicable you.