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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 07, 2016

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Submitted: July 07, 2016



Lizbeth comes home
from school
(a wet day so didn't
see Benny),
and walks past her mother
in the kitchen.

Did you take
that sex book back
to that girl?
Her mother asks.

Lizbeth looks at her:
of course(she hadn't
she had hid it
elsewhere in her room),
read it anyway,
didn't need it

Her mother eyes her sternly:
don't bring
a disgusting book
like that home again,
her mother says.

Lizbeth sighs:
is that it?
Can I go
to my room now?

No, I want to
talk to you,
her mother says.

Talk to me
or with me?
Lizbeth says
gazing at her mother.

May I remind you,
my girl, you are
just 13 not 23,
and I will not
have you speak to me
in that fashion,
her mother says.

Lizbeth looks away;
the curtains are open,
letting in light
from a dull day.

If I spoke to my mother
like that I would
have had a good hiding,
her mother says firmly.

Lizbeth wants to get
to her room,
she is pissed off
not seeing Benny
and hanging round
is making her more
pissed off.

Sorry I shouldn't
talk like that,
Lizbeth says,
putting on her
little girl sorry

Sit down,
the mother says.

Lizbeth sits down
on a tall stall
by the kitchen table.

Her mother
sits opposite.

Why would you want
such a book?
Her mother asks,
and why did she
give such a book to you?

Lizbeth looks
at her mother's
strained features:
the hair tidy,
but greying slightly.

I wanted to know
about sex,
and she had
a book about it,
Lizbeth says.

Why did you want
a book about sex?
her mother says,
the word sex.

To learn about it,
Lizbeth says.

Why learn,
why now?
Her mother says.

Lizbeth wishes
she had seen Benny
at school,
but the rain
had prevented it.

I need to learn
or I won't know
what to do,
and I'm getting
to an age when
I am inquisitive.

Her mother
stares at her:
the red hair,
the eyes,
the way she sits
on the stool,
the school skirt
drawn up well
above the knees.

You are too young
for that kind of thing yet,
so do not bring
that book home again;
if you want
to know anything
ask me,
her mother says.

Lizbeth holds in
the desire to laugh;
the thought of her mother
telling her anything
about sex was laughable.

I will ask,
Lizbeth says,
straining to keep
a straight face;
putting on her
innocent girl face.

Well off you go,
and change,
and keep your room tidy,
her mother says.

Lizbeth goes out
of the kitchen,
and up the stairs,
sighing for the delay,
wishing her mother's
words of wisdom
would go away.

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