***

Among these gentlewomen,

addicted to late hours,

grappa’s and poetry,

sometimes neurotic,

more often self-confident,

wearing men’s smoking’s or lovely Scottish kilts,

enjoying the routine of being themselves

in public,

with the air of unparalleled

determination and security,

among these gentlewomen

no-one dares

to pretend,

some men, however, feel endangered

daring to say:

“You haven’t met the right prince.

I could turn you…’”

These gentlewomen

are assertive without aggression,

protective without paternalism.

They are women.

Being feminine is not the same

as being a woman.

Being a woman is not the same

as being feminine.

They are gentle and they are women,

“incorrectly unfeminine”,

distinctive and seductive,

always on their own.

These gentlewomen

are not withdrawing

from social struggles,

still refugees from this men’s world

continue ropewalking

over the whispers behind their backs,

happy for at least

of not being the objects of men’s rivalry,

listening to their insults,

some of which are even funny:

‘Too pretty to be an L-girl’, for instance.

These gentlewomen

recognize the cruelty of life

and yet remain its poets:

enjoying late hours,

grappa’s and poetry,

sometimes neurotic,

more often self-confident,

but always happy with who they are.