TWENTY-SEVEN years old
Walking in the evening’s cool
(Twenty-one years to go – don’t stroll through town with your boyfriend).

When I was nineteen
(Thirteen years and counting – don’t crouch down, don’t turn your back on politicians
However small-town-local,
Don’t crouch down).

It happened when I was seventeen
(Eleven years to go – don’t walk on stairs if a boy’s sitting there, eleven years to go).

Did it start when I was fourteen?
(Eight years to go –
Don’t wear jumpers with words across the chest, when you’re fourteen. Eight years to go.)

Six-year-old widened eyes
Clear, untouched skin
When will it begin?

Joanna Petersen

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