I know that chivalry is still alive
because men are falling at my feet.
The thud of one comes up through my heels
when I think of him hitting the floor:
a skid that became a wince-hiss of pain.
I blushed for him and again for the blindness
of strangers, hoped he’d stand up and dust it off,
not say ‘I’m ok’, as though I’d asked.
That morning I bet he’d reached for his knee pads,
then thought ‘not today, I’ve improved’,
and lowered slowly into his bath that night,
flinching at the sting, or the prospect of it.
The sound of his backside against his tub
slides slowly down the side of my head.


Lily Blacksell