Polly's pages (aka 'Donna Williams')

Ever the arty Autie

When I was a homeless girl


When I was a homeless girl

I had yellow teeth with holes,

Big enough to fall through.

Twenty six years of antibiotics

written on my enamel.

I got famous, got veneers,

I felt so guilty,

people were starving in Africa

and I wanted to smile

without shame.

When I was a homeless girl

I had favorite knickers.

They’d done time.

Their sides held with safety pins

on a dyed blond punkette

but they were mine.

I got famous, bought lingerie,

I had a bra from a shop that smelled of newness

I had knickers you could frame on a wall

And I wondered how much a girl in China

Had got paid for each pair.

When I was a homeless girl

I fought with a druggie over a fifty cent sweater

it was cable knit, wool, shrunken and tatty

but it looked so alive in the dead of winter.

And he won, after he slapped my face.

I got famous,

bought the best sweater in the op shop

a whole five dollars

with a no-name label

and the knowledge it was mine.

Donna Williams, Dip Ed, BA Hons.
Author, artist, singer-songwriter, screenwriter.
Autism consultant and public speaker.

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