you never hit a girl, no matter what;
and with that fact came power--if she caught
a classmate jawing at her like a fool,
Her wrath was swift and ruthless: scratches, slaps,
and punches beat down on his head like hail.
Impotent and humbled, he'd turn tail
and run away, beg mercy--cry, perhaps.
We were just kids. I couldn't even dream
that someday I would have to bite my tongue,
sit on my hands while those I could not fight
stepped over my bruised head. Now, it would seem,
I owe her thanks. She taught me, while still young,
how to stay low, and keep my mouth shut tight.