A man I met on holiday
told me once the story
of how he never met his mother.
She was blown to blitz
in the same old war that
his father fell for.
Their only child, he’d been
sent away to stay in a place
full of strangers, with dangers
of its own. He had known
no relative love or tenderness,
just the kindness of strangers.
He smiled unceasingly.
The woman he’d wed, an orphan
like him, said they were paired,
that they cared for each other,
sister and brother as much
as lovers. She grinned without end
at her partner, her friend.
I thought of them today when
I heard the distaste in the bray
of your voice. The orphans had
found each other, each chosen
the other and chosen to be happy
together. You and I came together,
we were never the chosen.
We do not like the same,
we are unlike each other
and like one another now and then.
If we too were orphans, I wonder
often if you would be better