Friday, December 30, 2011

Fatal Footwork

(I, too, was a Children's Hostess, but this is not me. Her heels don't look too high, so I think she must be of a later vintage.)

asks us to consider our feet


My feet are rather run-of-the-mill, fairly small and almost neat,
As feet go in the run of things, my feet are hard to beat.
Except for a bony protuberance on the left foot, not the right
And, oddly enough, that's something that I view with some delight!
It is a constant reminder of days decades ago,
Which gave rise to the said protuberance causing it to grow.
I worked on a passenger ship for a year or two,
Looking smart in a uniform, sometimes white and sometimes blue.
The female officers were all advised that, to be really smart
Shoes with high stiletto heels had to play a part.
Imagine this, a rolling ship, out on the heaving ocean!
And girls in the highest of high heels copying the motion!
Sliding about the decks and looking pleasant, with a smile,
While tormented toes were screaming out in agony all the while!
At night I'd go to my cabin and really cry with pain,
Knowing that, tomorrow, I'd have to do it all again!
Mind you, there were compensations! A life of luxury,
Plenty of handsome officers, and the joy of being at sea!
The years went by, I left the sea, but I was to discover
That the bony 'thing' on my left foot would never quite recover.
'Yes' said a podiatrist in due course,'Yours is a typical case;
You've deformed your foot by wearing heels that were a medical disgrace.'
So now, when I see girls tottering on heels that are meters high,
I long to give them a warning.
Now you know the reason why.

(The fate of women after the Second World War.)

My name's Hannah, and I'm handy with a spanner.
I can saw and plane and rivet with the best of them.
I can dig some dandy ditches,
And I get dirt on my breeches,
And I work, from dawn to dusk, just like the rest of them.
But when the world is free
They'll say 'Hannah! Make the tea!'

My name's Hannah. I've a firm and forthright manner,
And, every day, my attitude is toughening.
I may not be a man,
But I'm not an also-ran,
And it makes me proud to see my hands are roughening.
But when they end the war
They'll say 'Hannah! Mop the floor!'

My names Hannah and I wear a bright bandana.
See! My curls are tucked in neatly and proficiently.
Yes, even though it hurts,
I've abandoned frilly skirts,
And these trousers keep me safe at work, efficiently.
But, when victory flags unfurl,
They'll say 'Hannah! Be a girl!'

My name's Hannah. I'm a thinker and a planner,
And what's inside my head, you wouldn't dream about.
I could be a big tycoon!
I could blast-off to the moon!
These are the things I lie in bed and scheme about.
But, when planes fly back to base,
They'll say 'Hannah! Know your place!'

My names Hannah and I'd sing a loud Hosannah
If the powers that be could recognise equality.
If they'd take note of my brains,
And my skill at building planes,
And not treat me as some silly, sweet, frivolity!
But, when the guns fall mute,
They’ll say 'Hannah, you're just cute.'

My names Hannah and, one day, I'll be a Nanna,
And I'm happy that there's motherhood in store for me.
But I know that, even then,
I'll be an underling to men,
And they'll throw me crumbs,
Like opening the door for me.
Yes, isn't it a farce!
They'll put me out to grass!
All this will come to pass
Under ceilings made of glass.


vivinfrance said...

Don't forget to leave your link at WWP post your poems day.
Both of these poems, while written humorously, contain serious truths, which - thank God and the feminist warriors - are no longer so damaging. When I left school in 1953, at 16, the choices of career in the eyes of my parents were: secretary, nurse or teacher.

Anonymous said...

really cute and funny

Those Shoes