Thursday, 28 September 2017

This is the brake

This is the brake, he told me.
The accelerator, here.
This stick in the middle?
We use that to change gear.
This is called the steering wheel.
You turn it left or right.
This is called a clutch, my dear,
and this turns on your lights.

He carried on mansplaining
and, at each child-simple word,
I smiled and nodded briefly
to show that I had heard.
He didn’t know I’d studied
the manuals night and day.
He didn’t know I’d sat inside
the car and learned its way.

He thought this was the first time
I’d heard of brakes and gears,
but I had dreamed that language
and practised it for years.
Not only I, but all my friends.
We’d gossiped hopefulness
and fuelled ourselves with faith
that we would drive the men to yes.

© Fran Hill

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Fran Hill is a writer and English teacher based in Warwickshire, UK.