Just call me Richard

My name is Richard, never Dick,
I’ve not allowed that name to stick,
It’s now become my golden rule
To banish all those thoughts of school.
My therapist tells me ‘Start afresh,
A name can carry so much stress,’
And so I’m trying awfully hard
To play my newfound Richard card.
I knew at school I wasn’t bright,
But Mr Short taught me to write,
He also bought a special book,
And, gosh the hours that he took,
To help me read across the page
And now it helps me earn my wage.
I really hated classroom life
It brought me so much grief and strife,
They called me really dreadful names
And wouldn’t let me join their games
But Mr Short would not abide,
On hearing any such aside,
And always helped me to be strong
‘You know what’s right and what is wrong,
But many here will never know
The sadness that their words will sow,’
And on reflection I can see
He had some sympathy for me,
Because they all had names for him
Like Shortie Arse or Tiny Tim.
I couldn’t help my thicker specs
My eyes are truly awful wrecks,
Or that I have a weakened heart
So in team sports I took no part ,
(Tho’ actually a saving grace,
I doubt if I’d have found a place).
It really wasn’t very fair
The way that I was treated there.
My Mum and Dad were very good
And helped to do all that they could
To make my school days not so bad,
And tried to make friends with a lad
Who also had few pals at school
But even he thought me a fool
Which made it even worse for me,
Until I wished they'd let it be.
And so through all my childhood days
I suffered from my schoolmates ways,
And all the time in secondary
Was taunted fairly regularly ,
By scribbled notes and sharp rebuff,
That by my teens I’d had enough
And leaving school at sixteen years
I faced the world with many fears.
But both my parents, still alive,
Then showed me ways I might survive
And helped me find a little work
And so from life I wouldn’t shirk,
But still I was tormented much
From hurtful words and looks and such,
But then my father, older now,
Made me make a solemn vow,
That should he die before the year
That for Mum's sake I’d still be here,
And that’s how Mum and I remained
To live our lives now self-contained.
And happy were our little worlds,
I had no need for friends or girls,
But Mum she worried for my sake
And so appointments did she make
For me to have some therapy
And so I went reluctantly,
But now I’m there I really find
Them all to be quite nice and kind
It seems to work, it’s not just fob,
And now I’ve found another job
And this new work I quite enjoy,
They treat me as a normal boy,
And though they know I’m not that bright
Maybe things will turn out right .
I help the local care home out
And push the wheelchairs round about
And help to cook and serve the food
It seems to brighten up my mood
To be so welcomed by the old,
I really make their day, I’m told,
And I enjoy their company,
They think of Richard just as me
- And no one ever takes the Mick
They've never heard of Dipstick Dick.
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