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New Boy


He might be a hologram, might be a ghost,
he might be the world’s fastest swimmer.
He might be allergic to baked beans on toast;
he might be an X Factor winner.
He might keep a squid in a tank by his bed, 
he might keep his teeth in a glass;
but nobody knows because nobody asks
the boy at the back of the class.

He might know the answers, he might crack the code,
he might hold the cure to disease.
He might be a spy from the school down the road; 
he might speak the language of bees.
He might be an artist, a poet, a prince,
a whizz kid at science and maths; 
but nobody knows because nobody asks
the boy at the back of the class.

He might have fled earthquakes or famine or war,
he might have arrived in a boat.
He might be the player who levels the score
and keeps flagging spirits afloat.
He might be an optimist, might be a grouch,
he might be a barrel of laughs;
but nobody knows because nobody asks
the boy at the back of the class.

He might be the fastest, the brightest, the best,
the class clown, the dreamer, the swot.
He might have BAZINGA! tattooed on his chest
although, chances are, probably not.
He might be the classmate who sees things your way, 
the best friend that you’ll ever have; 
but you’ll never know if you don’t ever ask
the boy at the back of the class.


Heather F. Reid

(issue 17, summer 2017)


Quartet by Mattias Adolfsson