The smile and the pain

I recall the smile
“I’m on your side”
– It said

A smile used oft
On the posh boys
– It seems

Boys far from home
Far from mum and dad
– In need of a friend

He was that friend
With that smile
– On their side

At the cricket match
In the loos
That smile was there

Then the fiddling
Then the shame
– The guilt

“I am the only one”
“It must be me”
The pain – for years

Here’s the carpet
There’s the brush
Go quietly

Distinguished career
A service of thanksgiving
Well done

Then five brave voices
Five brave men
Stop the lies

The truth comes out
Justice is done
The smile is gone

But the pain remains

The people in the photograph above are completely unrelated to the subject of this poem.


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