Around me children are angry,
we look in fear at each other:
I am afraid of their physical power
and they of me because I am not like them.

Around me the mob  is approaching
and my father is at sea
and my mother my responsibility
and I am not good in running
and I don’t have a brother to do my battling
so I stand and pretend calmness.

I bluff a certain dédain.
Running seems a better option, but
noses do stop from bleeding. Eventually.


There was a lot of bullying going on when I was a child, this “mob” chasing me (probably others too) daily when I was 4 on my way to Kindergarten  were actually 3 or 4 boys of about 7. Teachers were also violent,  and parents.  Looking back, I think there was nothing I could have done to prevent the beatings. I just escaped into my own world if it was too much  🙂 thinking up stories.

Comments on: "Then" (4)

  1. Ina this is really sad especially knowing it is true,

    Bullying is something that touches every generation and it doesn’t have to be physical either, words can be just as damaging.

    I hate it and wonder how it can still be perpetuated when we are so aware of it happening these days.

    Love and hugs



    • It is the one thing that can really make me angry. People not doing anything about it and the bullies not being punished at all. It leaves scars in your soul, depression, and it effects how you are as a grown up.

      Love and hugs!

  2. So much hurt and emotion packed into a few taut, stark lines. My heart goes out to the 4-year-old Ina; I know exactly how it feels to be ‘not like them’. But maybe it’s that ‘differentness’ that makes poets of us in the end. And even now, I spend much of my time ‘pretending calmness’ – I certainly don’t always feel it! A really powerful, brave and affecting piece; thank you for sharing it.

    • Thank you, your comment make me realise so many kids go through difficult periods like that. If you don’t have a shelter, there is always your mind to be free. Maybe bullies make poets.

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