tail between legs

I disquiet more and more men as time goes by;
a sign of how formidable I’ve become, I suppose.
I take it as a compliment.
They’ll stand there,
offended by my assumptions of them,
then with tail between legs,
yet nose held high,
amble on as if I’m the one who’s said
something wrong; done something to display
a grave ignorance or disregard for the
dignity and worth of another human being.

Perhaps I should wear a sign:
Don’t confuse my lightheartedness
with a willingness to laugh at your crude jokes.
Don’t mistake my tendency to want to please
for the ability to understand your need to feel superior.
Don’t forget, my feelings and experiences
as a woman are valid.
Don’t look away
just because the truth is hard to take.

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