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Most mornings, I glimpse the boy
walking to school. His shoes
trodden down at the back.

He trails behind, at the back,
apart from the scuffle of boys.
I worry they laugh at his shoes.

He looks downtrodden, not just the shoes.
I wonder if his mother is back.
The eggshell pale boy.

The boy with the ill-fitting shoes, alone at the back.

Judith Wozniak lives Hampshire and spent her working life as a GP. She is currently taking the ‘Routes in Poetry Course’, with Tamar Yoseloff at The Poetry School, which she has found inspirational – allowing her to explore the many stories from in her working life through her poems – and lead to the composition of this poem.

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Image Credits:

Hugo Cardoso