Letter-poem to my grandson (xxxviii)

Matilda Kay Haslett arrived shortly before midday today

Middle-named after her paternal great-grandmother and her maternal grandmother.


And you have become a cousin again.

You are not quite sure it’s a good idea,

Despite assurances of an extra birthday cake.

Nana and Papa resources can get a bit stretched amongst cousins

And you don’t seem to think

Your bed at 170 is big enough for sharing (not your strong point at the best of times).

All you animal friends have clearly designated and assigned roles.


Baby Rabbit, squigding under closed doors, Dragon, aerial transportation,



Mrs Rabbit, magic lunch box preparation, Pig, special dispute resolution


Hippo special dancing, Bear, brown bread and honey sharing


So not much wriggle room there either.

You’ll probably have a few thoughts about sharing Susie as well


And, of course, Matilda has been born the Perfect Princess

At once Prospero’s Miranda, Mr Bennett’s Lizzie and Benedick’s Beatrice.

And she has already been ushered into the world

With the adoration that only grandmothers can bestow

On the first granddaughter in five grandchildren.

And yet you….

I have images of you that would have made Caravaggio weep.

When you run across the park,

Small flights of unruly angels jostle you at every step.


When you stand on our doorstep on Tuesday mornings with your mum

And there is an infinitesimally small, but perceptible, pause

In the tick-tock of Newton’s universe

When you smile.

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