And the dawn breaks.
From an aerial view
The world awakes.
Streets filling anew
With milk floats
And postmen on bikes
Passing newsagents’ lights.
The passerby notes
A fir tree and a gibbous moon
That won’t be together again so soon.

The news comes by phone
Of a labour that’s started
And new life expected today.
The telephone lines will be busy
Carrying the glad tidings.
A baby boy.
We increase and multiply;
We rejoice in each other’s lives
Whilst grieving for past losses
And those still to come.

They stand in small groups
Clutching small glasses’
Peering at food
offered on silver salvers.
Forefingers and thumbs
Delicately poised.
The talkers talking
To listeners, for whom
It was an effort to come.
Outside in the streets unnoticed
The London dusk falls.

In the lighted kitchen
of an Autumn evening
Food is prepared
For a birthday tomorrow
When family will gather
And glasses be raised
In glad celebration
And the toasting of each generation.

Thank you, thank you, everyone
We are sorry we cannot come.
It’s been a long and joyous day
But we are not here to stay
We are only passing through
And it was lovely knowing you.

November 1991