These Feminine Wiles

With these feminine wiles I will

use men to get what I want. 


I will laugh when jokes aren’t funny. 

Especially when jokes aren’t funny.


I will wear long skirts, 

so that imaginations must

be put to work.

But see also the softness of my chest,

a reassuring presence, 

so that imaginations must not

work too hard.


Nothing must be too hard

I must not be too hard,

indeed, to him I offer

my softness

as respite. 


I am duplicitous. 

(I dare not fool myself 

With the romantic pretence 

Of Walt’s multitudes)

I do not talk 

of the one who has my heart,

the only one to whom I wish

to reveal myself, fully.


Instead, when I am pulled close

and I know the time has come,

when I am invited

to fulfil my promise

with these feminine wiles I will not 

refuse him. 


I will entertain him. 

That I have no intention of opening myself to him, fully,

he must not know. 

Indeed, to him I offer

my consolation.


A kiss, on the cheek, 

serves only to say

oh not right now- it is not the time, 

wait for me, 

continue to be kind to me, 

I will reward you.


Later, when I speak to the one 

who has my heart

I tell him of the kiss on the cheek.

Of my reluctance,

of my shame,

that much is true.

But what I do not tell him 

is that the kiss was mine.


The kiss belonged to these feminine wiles

and I offered it to him.

To get what I want. 

But what that is I have never told anyone,

that for which I use 

and will continue to use 

these feminine wiles:


Something akin to ease.

Something akin to security.

Something akin to peace.

We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.