The Traveller boy
By Jess Smith
His little brown face was elfin sharp
As he gazed at the classroom floor
At the high prim walls with their gaudy maps
And the tight shut prison-ing door.
He watched the alien children
With their barriers of paper and ink
And he heard the whisper that rustled round
‘don’t speak to him, he’s a tink.’
Down where they camped at the riverside
There were things that a boy might dread
When the eerie shadows of dawning,
came around his bracken bed.
He remembered the ghost of the pine trees
And the kelpie that lives in the pool
But he knew that he never was frightened before
Till the day when they locked him in school.
Jess Smith wrote this poem as a response to her research into the hidden history of Scottish Travellers. You can read an article by Jess on the subject in this year's GRTHM magazine.