You don’t want to marry me honey, Though just to hear you ask me is sweet; If you did you’d regret it tomorrow For I’m only a girl of the street. Time was when I’d gladly have listened, Before I was tainted with shame, But it wouldn’t be fair to you honey; Men laugh when they mention my name.
Back there on the farm in Nebraska, I might have said yes to you then, But I thought the world was a playground; Just teeming with Santa Claus men. So I left the old home for the city, To play in its mad, dirty whirl, Never knowing how little of pity, It holds for a slip of a girl.
You think I’m still good-looking honey! But no I am faded and spent, Even Helen of Troy would look seedy, If she followed the pace I went. But that day I came in from the country, With my hair down my back in a curl; Through the length and the breadth of the city, There was never a prettier girl.
I soon got a job in the chorus, With nothing but looks and a form, I had a new man every evening, And my kisses were thrilling and warm. I might have sold them for a fortune, To some old sugar daddy with dough, But youth called to youth for its lover, There was plenty that I didn’t know.
Then I fell for the ‘line’ of a ‘junker’, A slim devotee of hop, And those dreams in the juice of a poppy; Had got me before I could stop.
But I didn’t care while he loved me, Just to lie in his arms was a delight, But his ardour grew cold and he left me; In a Chinatown ‘hop-joint’ one night.
Well I didn’t care then what happened, A Chink took me under his wing, And down there in a hovel of hell — I laboured for Hop and Ah-Sing Oh no I’m no longer a ‘Junker’, The police came and got me one day, And I took the one cure that is certain, That island out there in the bay.
Don’t spring that old gag of reforming, A girl hardly ever goes back, Too many are eager and waiting; To guide her feet off of the track. A man can break every commandment And the world will still lend him a hand, Yet a girl that has loved, but un-wisely Is an outcast all over the land.
You see how it is don’t you honey, I’d marry you now if I could, I’d go with you back to the country, But I know it won’t do any good, For I’m only a poor branded woman And I can’t get away from the past. Good-bye and God bless you for asking But I’ll stick out now till the last.
Text prepared by:
- Bruce R. Magee
Parker, Bonnie. “The Street Girl.” Web. 5 August 2018. Poem Hunter. <https:// www. poemhunter.com/ poem/ the-street-girl/>.