The Clock

Tick – here she is; she’s out
Tock – you’ll never be alone; eyes forever on you
Tick – dress her in this
Tock – don’t wear that

It’s too short; a little lolita
It’s too long; a frigid bitch
It’s too short; provocative slut

Tick – get yourself an education
Tock – but know your limits
Tick – be a nurse not a doctor
Tock – be a Private not a General
Tick – be a PC not a Captain
Tock – reach the middle not the top

Tick – victim
Tock – asking for it
Tick – hysterical
Tock – so left on the shelf
Tick – become a mother

But not too soon, you shameful drain on resources
But not too late, you old mother Hubbard

Tick – don’t you dare age
Tock – stay forever young
Tick – slim down
Tock – tone up

Tick – carry the burden for all
Tock – never voice your anger
Tick – remain calm
Tock – composed
Tick – you’re nearly done
Tock – it’s nearly over




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2 Responses to The Clock

  1. Amazing poetry Cat. Contains so many truths and I like the way you have shown what women are subjected to during the lifecourse. I love the metaphor of the clock, because time can often feel endless, and an unrelenting struggle, especially for women. It also shows the spurious demands made of women by men and how they are never satisfied.

    From the beginning of the first Tick, to the last Tock, this poem is a genuine depiction of women’s lives and socialisation.

    It’s also a brave thing to write.

    Well done!

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