Poem: Dress Codes

by Stacy Torian

I TOLD YOU ‘BOUT COMIN’ TO THIS SCHOOL WITH YO’ BUTT HANGIN’ OUT!!

a fire-eyed principal lambasts a youngster for coming to school in her shorty shorts.

but at age ten what girl truly comprehends the concept of modest dress?

i shudder in wide-eyed observance

silently swallowing her embarrassment

the trembling lips

the shell-shocked gaze

could the same have happened to a little boy

how should I know

i’m only ten!

but i do know

that a young girl’s innocence

is much too precious to die

in an elementary school cafeteria

Copyright 2000. This poem was previously published in the book Soul Speak (2000).

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