We called her Flo,
our formidable headmistress
who insisted on every girl achieving
her own personal best.
Competition was discouraged
and no class positions were given,
only individual achievement was celebrated
and pupils were randomly selected for the Houses
which were named after female achievers,
Cavell, Darling, Nightingale, Marvell and Fry.
Streaming was unheard of.
She was so far ahead of her time
we’re still waiting for our time
to catch up.
She believed that women should step out
and be true to themselves
so ‘narrow’ skirts were frowned on
as restricting our freedom.
Black stockings were also forbidden,
She remembered the campaigns against them
back in her day when they were obligatory
I would have been leading,
she told me
so I should not wear them.
She ended her days in a Care Home
where she reclined in a hammock
and sipped her sherry
as she swung.
I would have expected nothing less,
from such a woman.
to be true to herself
a perfect way to leave the stage.
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Lynn White lives in North Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice, events, places, and people she has known or imagined. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and a Rhysling Award.