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The ritual starts at 3pm,
She bursts through the door, home from war,
Of battles fought with ‘so called’ friends.

How dare they bruise my young girls heart,
With arrowed words, like poisoned darts,
For simply trying to do her best,
Win the race, pass the test.

Don’t talk to Bex, they snigger and snort,
She thinks she’s too good, at art and sport,
Don’t let that flower grow too tall,

Let’s cut her down and watch her fall.

Poppies must be kept at bay,
Except of course on Anzac day,
From Turkish coves to playground swings,
And thirteen-year-old suffering,
On battle or the soccer field,
The daggers hurt, the dread is real.

At home she cries, I bathe her wounds,
With a cameo cream and love to the moon,
What shall I do Mum? she asks me straight,
If I don’t make the team, will they stop, go away?

I pause for a bit, to avoid disgrace,
I’d like her to punch them in the face,
Poppies are meant to grow strong and tall,
Not hunker down, behind school walls,
They should reach for the glorious warmth of the sun,
Through battles fought, to battles won.

It’s up to you I reply to Bex,
Knowing I should be, politically correct,
You could be less, than you want to be,
And give those girls their victory,
Or you can win everything, be proud, have a ball,
Succeed with grace, and fuck them all.

© Lisa Nimmo 2017

Lisa Nimmo is an author, poet and mum of two teenagers, based in Wellington New Zealand. To receive more poems like these direct to your inbox, enter your details here:

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