treasured snap


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    Gordon Hemmings meets Alan Hemmings, after sixty eight years silence


    close cousins,  seven-decade separated:

    fraught drama, headlines bold-stated;

    violent death divided them, years passed,

    ragged hems frayed, no faith held fast.


    one teen dreamer, one school achiever;

    Peartree Baptist boys, neither believer;

    one wove fabric, one taught teenagers,

    one adventured, one became play-stager.


    embraces unpractised, tongues paralysed,

    no letters exchanged, nothing analysed;

    this reconciler dived deep, no hesitance:

    online searches, painful little evidence.


    clues then offered, blurred my tears;

    silent their decades, many yearning years,

    brother-like bond unlocked, reconnected,

    ties tightened, love-laces long neglected.


    father accompanied on final pilgrimage

    happy waves captured, emotional image:

    cloth-capped cousins, treasured snap,

    firm handshake clasps closed that gap.



    “When you see them coming you’ll smile—big smiles! Your heart will swell and, yes, burst! All those people returning by sea for the reunion, a rich harvest of exiles gathered in from the nations”! Isaiah 60: 5

    After 68 years these close cousins eventually re-united for 24 hours. Mere weeks before an all family re-union that cousin died of a heart attack….through Gordon Hemmings’ funeral, my wife soon discovered relatives that she never knew existed. That story for another poem!


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