Blood Strangers

Most of them have gone now, 
family and friends gathered for a while
to celebrate a christening.
In the kitchen, in soft white shirtsleeves 
the tall one slips knives away, 
nestles spoons into place,
restores order for his child.
This stranger dries post-party glasses and looks on.

Unseen, the other grandfather dandles his son’s child, 
multicoloured waistcoat loud against 
the fading echoes of the late party crowd.
He sees his future in this male heir 
of the son he fathered 
at last he is proud.
The son, a stranger, looks away confused.

The new mother turns in haste,
a glass shatters the tiny space.
A white sleeve reaches to the rescue,
Go, her father urges, it doesn’t matter.
With grateful smile she slips away;
re-united with her boys, the young
woman pushes on into the park.

How often will she come here, 
to sit and watch and dream?
Beside her now the father;
behind him, Society ritual;
between them, their sleeping child.
The young man grips the pram’s edge
opens his heart at last to the stranger.

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