Christmas, a time for family and friends.
Children, boisterous, open presents Santa left,
Scattering paper everywhere.
Mum looks on and smiles and wonders.
Will her boy be like his father?
Her daughter grow to be like her?
Granddad thinks he's young again. His knees
Send out a crack as he joins the children on the floor.
Then after dinner he falls asleep before the Queen and
Grandma helps with washing up.
She always does. She dries and puts away.
Talks and talks of nothing much.
She does not ask questions.
Tries hard not to look for signs
She knows will break her heart.
Her only son is good at playing host,
Filling glasses making jokes.
All at table comment on his turkey carving skills.
As dad, he sings while putting kids to bed.
He tells them tales of magic lands,
Then gently kisses them goodnight.
The day is long; much alcohol consumed.
Mum waves the guests goodbye.
Grandma hugs a bit too tight and wishes all the best.
Mum stands at door long after all have gone, an
Anxious churning in her gut. She knows that she
Will hold her cry. She must not wake the children.
She turns to face the fist that always comes.
Little Brown Girl (Morgan's Eye Press 2016