A Lone Child

A lone five year old in the
Korean English kindergarten
slips away from noisy boy
rough housing, only goes to the
boys’ toilet when it is vacant.
He shrinks back from his
classmates’ loud voices,
covers his eyes when lights
switch on, on a dark day.

The creatures in the rock pools
which he visits with his father
on Saturdays fill his mind
and the facts in the rock pool
books his father buys for him.
He recalls them all for his
teacher on Monday mornings
in impressive detail.

As Mrs Jenny walked past past the
family at the traffic lights
he called out, talked to her
at length in excellent English
as his father parked the car
at the kerb while they talked.

At the library his mother met
Mrs Margaret borrowing English
books for the kindergarten.
“Something is wrong with him ?”
she asked. They both cried.
Mrs Margaret told her the
word that is not mentioned,
that parents’ love and that
Saturdays at the rock pools
will buoy this child
out in the world.

They both fear for him
at the big state school
next year.


Previously posted November 2016.

A Lone Child

2 thoughts on “A Lone Child

    1. Thank you very much. Just after I arrived at this private Korean kindergarten I was present at a discussion between the other two “foreign” teachers, both Americans. “Mrs Margaret” had taught the child for the previous school year and was concerned at his obvious asperger’s behaviour. She wanted to get all sorts of help for him. “Mr David” having taught longer in the Korean system and socialising with Koreans was keenly aware of the Korean attitude to mental unwellness, it is a disgrace in the mainstream community and no help is available. He knew – and said – the child would be taken away to another school if she dared to speak to the parents. And the principal would be furious if this happened. At last “Mr David” convinced “Mrs Margaret” that the child was best off in our school, where the “foreign” teachers understood his condition and could support him where possible. It was a huge relief to all three of us when the mother approached “Mrs Margaret” and she was able to explain the child’s condition to her. With that and my conversation with them at the roadside we knew he was getting great support from his parents at least.

      Liked by 1 person

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