- jan-u-wine

Aunt Esme
a baby.
It is a small thing....
a boy-child, like me.
He cries quite a lot
and makes
other small noises
that mean something,
I suppose, to Auntie,
for when he makes them,
she laughs and holds him
to her.
Auntie doesn't hold me to her,
not anymore.
In the long hours of the night,
when the trees tap shadows
upon my window,
and the river whispers
with voices stilled by darkened water,
I stay far from dreams
to hear her voice,
singing soft to her son.
The rounded arms of the window
hold me
as she used to,
curve unyielding about me.
The glass is cold against my cheek as I sway
to the soft lilt of her lullaby,
faint through the curtaining wall.
In the morning,
long before the Sun
has drawn the dew
from the grass,
I dress in my best breeks
and my new weskit
and walk the long way
to where Mumma and Da
and I
used to live.
No one lives there now.
The windows,
like great,
empty eyes,
stare back at me,
the little cord which held the gate 
lies in the weeds of the ditch.
My hand follows the curve
of the wall,
my ears
strain to catch remembered voices
in the chilled silence.
There is nothing.
I am back to the Hall before I am missed.
It is a strange word, that.
I do not think I would be
in any way
which might matter.
Auntie smiles at me
at table.
Smiles and pours
in the blue cup
that used to be Da's.
She lets me hold
my cousin,
all wrapped snug
in a blanket of
sun-swept yellow.
His name is Merry.
I wish I were he,
a faunt laughing
and crying
and being held
and sung to
for happiness.

My fingers find,
held very safe within my pocket,
the toy horse
Uncle carved
for the  child I was.

A tiny hand closes about it. 
With all my heart,
I hope you may be