Charlie wasn’t good at school.
His teacher always used to say,
‘Charlie Walker, what a talker.
Sit on the mat near me
where I can see you Charlie Walker.’
His writing missed the lines
and his rubbing out was smudged.
but I liked to help him write his news
for I was good and he was naughty,
poor, unlucky Charlie Walker.
I could see he was misunderstood,
Dad in gaol and mum in bed
with local bookie Wally Chalker,
poor, afflicted Charlie Walker.
When Antony scribbled
on my stencil, Charlie stabbed him
with a pencil. Hauled off
to the naughty chair,
as I passed I stroked his hair.
Tousled hero Charlie Walker.
At play I let him ride the leopard
who lived among the waving grasses
that grew behind the Junior classes,
intrepid Charlie Walker.
One day while we were climbing
in our favourite apple tree,
his face became a blur
that I could barely see.
I knew then it was time
to let him go, to set him free,
let him befriend another
solitary child like me.
Gone but not forgotten,