© 2019 Barbara Grace Lake

Adorable her aunties thought
A her first timid “no”
In time those no’s became less shy
Ear splitting, thunderous roar
You’ll have to train her, now they said
Or she’ll a rebel be

Approaching her, so malleable
Unwisely they began
To rid fore’er her lexicon
Of “no,” and “no,” but “no”
You must be pleasant, compromise
Was skewered in her brain

At twelve her dates were parties, groups
Of scarcely less than eight
School dances, miniature golf or films
Activities allowed
Her preference often set aside
Refrained from saying “no”

As children do she reached sixteen
And dates for real began
Engagements still were innocent.
With kiss upon the cheek
Her Mom’s last cautionary words,
“Be sure you’re home by ten”

Progressive school curriculum
Sex education gave
The mother said “not for my child
Enticing her to sex
She’ll learn in marriage what she needs
And all she needs to know”

When handsome high school quarterback
Proposed a date with her
He claimed her in his father’s car
They went for food and beer
She later could not tell him “no”
Virginity was lost

But quarterback her bête noir
His avid teammates told
Too many relished giddy news
Of how a virgin crashed
In after days she stayed at home
Lay sobbing in her room

Her friends, distraught, abandoned her
Adults who might have helped
Instead, increased their cruel abuse
“Loose, common slut exposed”
All hope, all sense of self-worth gone
She ended her own life.