The kid next door

Tommy’s been playing here for ages today,
he’s hanging round
longer than usual,
on his tinny scooter,
he’s wearing a smile
doesn’t look right,
it shakes at the corners
sometimes,
when we can see it,
his eyes are on the wheels
most times,
as he twists and turns on the cement
driveway,
round and round,
the sun beating down on his skinny shoulders,
what’s with the long sleeves,
he just wants to play on his scooter
with some kids,
he just doesn’t want to go home
yet,

Tommy’s house is empty today
they’ve gone for good, in the night
there was a lot of swearing
and carrying on,
their dog was barking
the baby was crying
waking me up
in a sweat,
they took their pot plants,
they left his scooter on the rubbish heap.

 

 

20 thoughts on “The kid next door

  1. Poor kid, poor baby, poor silly parents missing out on the joy of appreciating emerging young lives, their genes, their future. I’d be tempted to find where thay went and send the scooter!

    1. Thanks Graham. I must admit it is only since I’ve had children of my own and have had experience with the school system that I’ve noticed any of this stuff – it makes me very angry and sad. It is such a complex area and even if the authorities intervene, they can make the situation even worse for the child. I could never work for social services – it would be the hardest job in the world.

  2. This made me hurt a little Gabrielle, such was the truth in your word that pinch hard. I knew a few kids like this and was one myself. Love to you for ‘seeing’ him, because many don’t want to. 😦

  3. Oh God, this is so real I almost can’t stand it. I have worked with kids like Tommy and there is something that always cuts at my heart quite deeply when a child doesn’t want to go home. You have captured how tough it is for many kids. So well written.

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