Between Ages

I dream of training the next generation of Valkyries. 
I, who was not allowed to go to Japan,
A girl of sixteen alone in a crew of forty men.
The guy who canned me never met me.

I met others who were on that crew years later. 
When age was beginning to touch me
Those guys had had chances I didn’t,
Simply because of what swung between their legs.
They saw my tits first and my mind later
If they bothered to look for that long.

In Sea Scouts I’d dealt with this early,
Learning to fit myself in as part of a crew. 
Being one of us, the boat is what is important,
Not the shape of her crew. 

I was born too early
Or just at the right time. 
I straddle that line,
Between women being other,
And women being part of the crew. 
I knew both states, not allowed and one of the boys 
Simultaneously and separated by time.

I came at last to the ships in autumn,
Thinking the leaves would cling forever
Brown turned to gray, and my moment was over
Remembering what was, and what might have been, 
Had I not done as my mother said.
Sent the ship off with a basket of shore food 
And preserved the status quo.

What would they have done had they found me,
Four or ten days out,
Hidden in the hold of the Hinde? 

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