Girls’ Education – by Penelope Kease


We didn’t do science – just the domestic sort.
The chemistry of cakes, the physics of flans,
The microbiology of meringues.

Still, our teacher wore a white coat,
drew grains of flour on the blackboard,
they’ll expand gently when you add

the liquid cold, she said,
you must do this before the hot,
then return the lot to the pan.

We never learned the periodic table
only how to lay one for dinner.
Our gravies were always smooth.



Penelope Kease lives and writes in Oxfordshire, a lifetime away from her Bristol childhood. She holds a recent MA in Writing from the University of Warwick.