They used to take left-handed girls
And tie that hand behind our backs
With lengths of cut skipping rope.
Was bottle green, navy blue, teal,
Mustard yellow, cream or brown.
Were stitched firmly to our skirt-slips
To prevent cold draughts getting in.
I asked the nurse at sixteen.
She said, “Have you ever heard
A wooden ruler across open palms
If we are caught fidgeting at all.