Boy with conch shell:Comfort

boy walks to school

with conch shell

pressed deeply into

his satchel

every time a stranger

walks close by

boy clutches it for comfort

feeling sea salt on his


licks them clean

as the sun peers at him

always on a funny angle

boy walks into school confidently


eyes searching

for familiar face

but finally

dull and muffled

he hears the laughter

pointing fingers tell his eyes the reason

his satchel

damp and dripping

boy quickly runs to the bushes down the side of the music block and pulls out conch shell

which bursts from his hands

like a hot tap

water frothing out

boy stands over it

sobbing quietly

conch shell doing a better job


then suddenly the world becomes very loud as the grade 2 teacher boxes boy’s ear

when the ringing stops

he catches

we told you not to bring it in

it’s going to flood this area

take it away

throw it in the river

make it stop boy

but boy doesn’t know how he never knows

the answer

Boy with conch shell:Comfort

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