The Other Boy – Sheila Jacob

The Other Boy

There was another boy
Dad confided, out of the blue.
A lovely little bab, Gran told him,
who died hours after the birth.
The priest baptised him in time-
a soul gone to heaven, Dad said,
his words a warm handclasp
I palmed under my skin
and shared, fifty years on,
with his last living sister.

She’d always suspected
something happened
decades ago, in the big bedroom
of the old back-to-back.
Gran’s bad stomach ache.
Cold supper on the table.
A neighbour’s red eyes.
Footfall up and down stairs
and later, furniture buffed
until it glared like looking-glass.

Spring-cleaning, Gran huffed
at her young daughters
as though they hadn’t noticed
her sudden weight loss
and frequent visits to church.
Things were like that in those days,
my Aunt sighed, relieved
she could claim him, at last.
The unnamed boy who arrived
at their home and never really left.


Sheila Jacob has had a number of poems published in  U.K.magazines and on webzines. She has recently self-published a short collection of poems which form a memorial to her father who died in 1965.

One thought on “The Other Boy – Sheila Jacob

  1. Thank you for sharing Sheila’s incredible poem. It truly was an elevating experience for me to go through the poem. According to your convenience please do read some of my writings would love to know what you think about them. 😊


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