My heart broke today when I saw your fear. We’d been pussy–footing around the issue for days and when another day dawned and it was yet another fight to get you to school, and I finally said it out loud. The thing that I feared.


Are you being bullied?


And the answer was “yes”.


Not bullied, being hit in the playground.

Not bullied, being teased and taunted.

Not bullied, in name calling.




It was the emotional sort of bullying.

The “you are no good at that” sort of bullying.

The “you’re so slow at your work” sort of bullying.


And I cried with you then.


Because of all the things that happen in the world the last thing I wanted was to see you the victim.


When I was small, I witnessed bullying at first hand. Not me, but my older sister. I used to try and stand up for her. I remember one day shouting at the girl that bullied her. I remember the bully telling me “don’t tell the teacher”.

And I didn’t.

But I wish I had.


So today the first thing I did was tell the teacher. When I left you in her care I wanted to know that you would be safe. That you would feel safe. And you did.


And tonight you told me you’ll be happy to go back to school tomorrow.


And I hope that when tomorrow dawns you will go smiling and happy.


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  1. Like a play it is so sincere and written with such skill that the reader is there in those moments. How cathartic to write such a poem – I wish I had done so when it happened to my younger daughter all those years ago.


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