The second bell rang.
I ditched maths. Made a run
for the bike shed. Phosphorescence
twinkled across the eighty-sixed playground.
You could tell it was late November.

He asked what had taken me so long
-I had seen a courageous ray of light
that seeped through mulish clouds
making a home on the rind of a forgotten
autumn leaf- but before I could answer

he fixed his dirty thumb in between the cage
of my mouth. With the last stroke he let out
a sigh of relief. Pulled up his trouser
kissed the tip of my nose then whispered
you’re a woman now.


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