Gretchen Gales: Rural County Sex Ed


Rural County Sex Ed


Ladies—be weary of serpent men slithering

When you haven’t said your nightly prayers,


Or haven’t read your Bible in a minute (remember to read

1 Corinthians 6:18 to remind yourself of what we’ve learned today),


Or worn your skirts one millimeter over

exactly one index card above the knee,


Or asked about birth control (Condoms are only 20%

effective because he doesn’t follow instructions),


Or parading out in 2AM provocative purple hair bringing

Attention (modesty is key to not picking the lock!),


Or leading boys on (The Facts of Life teaches you being a tease

Is an unattractive quality in young ladies),


Or you sipped a sinful swig, drowises dropped in your drinks. Dateline

Enough reason to avoid bars, clubs, the mall, gas stations, or being alone.


Or asking for birth control again

(not until there’s a carat on your left finger),


Your body a temple hidden beneath vines from

Abductors, adulterers, abusers,


Liars, loathsome  murderers,

Pigs, rapists, savages, selfish, thieves,

Detestable, disgusting, deplorable beasts.


But to be fair, Eve—She

Bit into the apple first.

Alex Clark

Alex Clark

Gretchen Gales is managing editor and a staff writer for Quail Bell Magazine. Her work has also appeared in The Establishment, projects of the SFG Media, Bustle, Yellow Chair Review, and more. When she isn't writing, she panics about how she has so much to write. Follow her work and latest updates at