Kieran can’t walk like the rest of us
he comes to school on the special bus.
he has to use crutches to get about
and he’s fast, but he can’t keep up when we run
when we race in the wind and laugh and have fun
he can’t keep up, he has to shout
‘Wait for me everyone, wait for me.’

And sometimes we wait, and sometimes we
run off and hide, and that’s when he
sits in the yard with his sticks on the ground
sits by himself until he’s found
by Sir or Miss, and they sit and talk
and we watch him laugh in a special way

and we’d love to know what he has to say
about the ones who ran away,
the ones who forgot that he can’t walk
And then we remember to ask him to play.

We kick the ball and he hits it back.
he’s quick with his sticks, he has the knack
of whamming the ball right into goal
and if he falls over he doesn’t fuss
We hoist him back up and we laugh at the soil
on his hands and knees, and give him his sticks.
He pretends to fight us, but he never kicks

He can’t use his legs like the rest of us.
He comes to school on the special bus.

Copyright: from Walking On Air (Hodder Children's Books, 1999) © Berlie Doherty 1993, used by permission of the author

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Many of Berlie’s poems do not have regular stanzas or patterns of rhyme. But if you hear or read them aloud, you can hear how the words ...

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