How to be polite

You told me of your rights
You told me to be polite to men.

When I said nay, you said “obey”.

I beg your pardon but —
Is it insolence to knuckle-white-tightly
grip this withered stick?
Am I brazen if I call you Mudbrain
or name you Mr. Shithead?
Is it too impertinent to tell you “No”
before I dent your skull?

Instead of whining
you should thank me on your knobbly knees
for the simple fact
I didn’t use my ax.

“Gathering Wood” by Edward Emerson Simmons

So exciting to write to the painting of Shay’s painter ancestor Edward Emerson Simmons at toads. There is something in that girl’s expression that told me, that she should put that stick to use.

May 18 2018

18 responses to “How to be polite

  1. Couldn’t help but laugh! That said: I was cutting up firewood just yesterday but made sure as I bent over that my bum was protected by a wall for just in case perhaps not a good man would walk by. It’s seldom one sees other people around here but just in case. One doesn’t forget to do that.

  2. Do I even need to tell you that this made me laugh out loud with delight? That man should indeed count his blessings; everything is relative! And besides, she did call him MR. Shithead. That’s respect! 😉

  3. I like the brazen woman here. We need more of them. Maybe though, without the machete knife. I grew up with one, using it to cut weeds on the farm for my dad. Dad always sharpened it for me, I still have it.

  4. The voice of this person has been portrayed so well, excellent modulations of tone.. and an antidote for every time a girl has had to bite her tongue.

  5. This is just kick axe good, for the telling of a story – what an expected defiance with the “axe” – I loved your interpretation of the image, the sauciness of the modern voice.

  6. This is great! Women are raised to obey men – and have been, for centuries. I’ll wager there are multiple men heading to court, who wish women had started calling out lousy conduct long before they were ‘surprised’ by the Me Too Movement.

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