Natasha Dennerstein

Go My Own Way, 1977.

I pierce my own ears with an Anzac
Day badge in the back of the Social
Studies class, hiding behind the fat
chick who mortifies her flesh with
chocolate eclairs. I relate, although
skinny myself. My friend uses her
younger brother as a sex-toy.
I know it's wrong but
I join in. I'm excited by Talking
Heads: qu'est-ce que c'est?
I deliberately fit out of cliques,
they like Abba, I go for Punk,
it's my aesthetic. I scour the Old
Testament for Tamar, the fallen
woman, the whore-by-the-side-
of-the-road: my patron, my outsider
sister. My peers plot their pastel
gowns for school dances and I save
up for a pair of Doc Martens, black,
patent. They watch TV and emulate
Farrah Fawcett. I read and revere
The French Lieutenant's Woman:
the cape, the Cobb, the-staring-
out-to-sea. I am fifteen.

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