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Keeping Safe - A Poem

Author: Anna Eliatamby

A poem about challenging behaviour.

Mummy, why did you let that man hurt me?
Why didn’t you stop it and why did you hit me?
Why did you ignore me and drink so much?

They have come to move me to a new bedroom.
I don’t like it but I get food.
I have new clothes.
I like my new mummies and daddies.
Oh, one of them is doing what that man did.
I shout and hit him and he goes away.
OK, shouting and hitting keeps people away.

I am moved to a special place where I cannot leave.
I have to follow their rules and I sit in a meeting about me.
They call it my plan, but they don’t ask me anything.
They say that in time I will improve.
They want me to stop hitting but why should I? It keeps me safe.

I have a new staff and she says that she can teach me to be strong without hitting.
Mmmm. I’m not sure but I try.
Sometimes it works.

I am trying, I am trying but then one of the staff does what those men did.
Why should I bother?
I am going to keep myself safe –nobody else does.


The publisher is The Centre for Welfare Reform.

Keeping Safe - A Poem © Anna Eliatamby 2013.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.