On Growing Up A Girl

You walk down the street,
Glance up at the sky
Stare back down at the pavement,
Afraid to meet their eye.

A group of guys shout
‘You’ve got a great bum.’
People say it’s just a joke,
But it’s not very fun.

Clutching keys in your hands,
Hyper alert.
You make it through the front door,
And think men are such jerks.

You correct yourself,
They are not all bad,
But this needs to stop happening,
It is making you sad.

Scared to wear bright clothes.
Don’t want to attract that attention.
Or wear a short skirt.
As you know it would be mentioned.

If something happened to you,
It was best to stay quiet.
‘Good girls don’t do that’
They don’t start a riot.

Maybe that is why,
You have let things slide,
Never told a soul,
Like you have secrets to hide.

You know most would say.
You’ve done nothing wrong!
But that’s just the thing,
There’s always that one.

You meet a cute guy,
And you are off on a date,
A few drinks in,
And it’s starting to get late.

You leave together,
In comforting embrace.
He kisses you softly,
And puts his hand on your face.

Leads you back to his,
Where you drink wine and laugh.
Then you head to bed,
And your hope shrinks by half.

You think, was that it?
And he smiles and says, ‘wow,
‘That was so great’.
You think what/why/how…

It’s wild to think,
He could not tell,
That you do not agree,
That it went so well.

At least you feel safe,
In his hold.
Until hairs stand up,
And you start to feel cold.

‘Are you awake?’
You pretend to be sleeping.
But your eyes are wide open.
And his hands are still creeping.

You do not say a word.
You know something felt wrong.
But your too used to guys,
Putting the pressure on.

It was worse back at school,
When ‘Ben’ wanted to lose it,
And you were not sure,
Friends said, ‘Just do it’.

You told them you did,
And they called you a slag.
Turns out they had lied,
When they said they’d done that.

Now everyone knows,
Because news travels fast,
And Ben is dumping you,
Friends say it never lasts.

You sit and cry in the mirror,
At the breasts that are new,
And think, is this adulthood?
Because I am already through.

The lessons I was taught,
Did not prepare me for the world.
There is a lot I wish I had known,
Growing up a girl.