The schoolhouse is full of crows
and carnivores and small, smokeless fires.
Lunch is a midday lynching.
Recess is a roughshod run,
harsh as gravel on bare knees,
and I'm in the principal's office
trying to remember that I'm an adult.
My daughter slipped her cage, I'm told,
and stretched her fine, strong legs.
Someone tried to steal her candy, I'm told,
and she unsheathed her claws,
still soft at the quick, but sharp
enough to scratch.
This is simply not the way a young lady acts.
She must learn to simper and whimper.
She must learn to swallow her growl.
She must learn to settle.
The principal settles back in her chair,
and I stare at her. I stare at the shifting
camouflage she wears. I stare at the get-along snare
just waiting there for well-trained girls.
I've felt its bite before on my own ankles,
and I'd rather teach my daughter how to chew off her own leg.
For Open Link Monday at Real Toads