On Oakwood Street Elise walks down
to meet her friends outside the shop,
flips open cokes and drinks them down,
there’s no one home in Emptytown.
She’s made for more than this she hopes.
For now she doesn’t say a lot.
She’s not fifteen, knows nothing much
of science, maths or poetry.
School drags on and stays the same. Such
a pain. Sometimes she longs to touch
the boy beside her (any boy).
She lives for friends and loyalty.
On Saturdays her parents drink
they start up early afternoon
Dad begins: ‘You know, I think…’
opening beers over the sink.
Elise can’t have the girls around.
Not Beth the gossip, staring June.
Elise walks down to meet her friends
They loll and watch, they wait for boys
discuss the ones they like. “Depends!
Girls, do you want boys? Or men?”
Elise likes Tom but doesn’t say.
She’s easy lost inside the noise.
Weekends, down the hill they come.
What secrets in Kasey’s house, or Beth’s?
People say June’s dad left her mum,
and Emma’s dad, he’d prefer a son.
There’s no one home in Emptytown.
Her fists are clenched. She holds her breath.