By Louise Tripp
Dyke is not something they called me
on the playground in my pink knee-highs,
not what would have occurred to them -
my tormenters, who couldn't explain
how I was different, just that I was.
Even in Junior High, I blushed
in the locker rooms and shut myself
into a stall, worried my secret
would spill out somewhere in that cold,
metal room. But they made fun
of other things, did not know
the thoughts that kept me awake nights.
In high school, when boys pushed me
against lockers and bruised
my breasts, twisting them before
taking off down the hall in an eruption
of laughter - even then
they did not call me "dyke."