Gladys Sym Choon

‘White Australia’ they say
Those are the ones who throw the stones
Shattering my pride along with the glass
Splintering the wooden frame and fragile peace
Those are the ones who light the match and watch the building burn
I share my country, my silk, my satin, my gold
“Too exotic” they say
Too different
They don’t share
They dictate and humiliate
Squashing me and my dreams
Like trampled blossoms underfoot
But once they take a closer look
they see the determination it took
to weave my future
to preserve my past
Now my shoes fascinate,
My flowing emerald silk is craved
My shoes
My dancing shoes
From derision to desire
A tiptoeing trailblazer

~Anneliese, Year 9

Green Satin Shoes, c. 1950s Migration Museum