Davo by George Anderson



He never caught anyone’s eye & by most accounts
he was ‘very ordinary’ apart from his beautiful long black hair.

The last report I wrote for him in Year 10 simply read:

‘Davo is a quiet student who is capable of making a more conscious effort to improve the length and quality of his written work, especially under exam conditions.’

One day everything changed.

The day he hanged himself from a tree in his family’s backyard.

There had been none of the obvious warning signs:
no desperate attempts at communication.
no suicide note-

just his blue unmarked face
swinging stiffly in the wind
in the purple pulse of the jacaranda.

His friends were dumb-founded, pissed-off. Devastated.

Trying to piece it all together
we recalled how he was a committed greenie
how during recess & lunch he would often collect
empty soft drink cans from the school bins
& sporting fields for recycling

but nothing more could be uncovered than that.

The school’s memorial service for his senseless loss
was a bleak affair-attended by his family
and a shaken Year 10 & school staff.

A memorial tree was planted for Davo that day
but was it was torn out at least three times over the next couple of months
& replaced before it was eventually left alone.

Now on my way to class
I often peer out towards the cricket nets
and see his tree now 15 metres in height

I think of Davo
of his silent crying out
& how none of us ever saw it coming.



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