A Poem by Nigel Kent


You won’t find him 

with the other kids;

he’ll be sheltering alone 

behind a wall of silence,

made of glass,

that they’ll shatter just for kicks,

throwing words at him

like stones and sticks

that m…m…mock 

and m…m…mimic

He’d like to answer 

back with remarks, 

sharpened on the whetstone 

of his wit 

but he knows 

those words will freeze

like timid children

on the  diving board

and though he’ll try

to urge them on, 

slapping his forehead 

with an open palm, 

they’ll teeter on the edge,

before they step away

to climb back down 


About the contributor

Nigel Kent has been shortlisted for several national competitions. His collection ‘Saudade’ was published in 2019 (Hedgehog Poetry Press). His poetry conversations ‘A Hostile Environment,’ co-authored with Sarah Thomson, and ‘Thinking You Home’ were published in 2019.

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  1. Oh dear! This poem brought back some unpleasant memories of my time as a teacher and the similar problems that a few of the kids I taught experienced….and the feeling of helplessness at being unable to change or improve the situation for the poor little blighters. I wonder were they to continue as “victims” for the rest of their lives?
    I particularly liked the diving board reference having “been there and done that” often enough!


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