Kenyan Ladies’ Karate Club by Nick Cooke

So you prefer older gals?

That’s the tale we heard.

You think we’re ‘more safe’

than the fresher meat

because we won’t have

much in the way of

what’s called love life,


therefore we must be clean

and won’t kill you

after you’ve killed us.

Ingenious thinking.

You boys should be

in the cabinet

with stuff like that.


I suppose you’d turn

me round to face the wall

before lifting my blood-red skirt…

what’s that old saying

about mantelpiece and fire?

To you boys I guess

the lot of us are much the same

down where it counts,


but get this, kiddies:

we’re all in training,

spend our days like boxers

in the gym, belting

sweet hell out of leather

and now we’re ready to

kick for Kenya


and yes that includes

anyone making so bold

as to try & knock us over

like Mau Mau days,

and only fair to warn,

under the pillow

I keep my best panga.

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