NAMES

Mum and Dad said
they had a big fight
when I was born
about my name

Mum wanted to call me
Alice
I could live with that

Dad wanted to call me
Kylie
no way

so they called me Dawn
after my nana

I never cared about it
until Melissa started
calling me
Frog Spawn.

KID’S STUFF

Some days
I want to get out my hula hoop
my skipping rope
play hopscotch
go skateboarding
play on the swings at the park
eat cheezels off my fingers
chew off jelly babies’ heads
kick a footy with the boys
build sand castles
play with my dolls
sleep with my teddy

my friends say
all of that
is kid’s stuff
and I shouldn’t do it
any more

why not?

FAMILIES

Ms Simpson keeps counting
we’re bored
but she’s gone
from social studies
to maths
like demographics explain
the whole world

16 bicycles
6 skateboards
21 two-car families
14 step-families

wow
14 kids are divorced
we look around
uneasily.

WALKING TO SCHOOL

leave behind
the slammed doors
and the silence

count
three streets
four corners
sixty-three houses
sixteen trees

some days I hear
birds cats cars
vacuum cleaners
motor bikes

most days I see
the big brown dog
in the bare front yard
who whines at me
and licks my hand

one day
I’ll let him out
and he can
run free with me