UNIVERSAL UNCLES   
 
The two men - forties, balding, brothers -
live together in a couple of rooms downstairs.
With them are two children, under-tens:
a girl, and a boy who isn't quite right...
They are either half-siblings or Benjamins,
late additions to the family of the men's parents.
They are a cosy group, the children have
a pretty good time.  The men take trouble
over them, they have an affectionate nature.
They took my little sister to the playground.
It had been raining, and they played a game,
jumping her over puddles, and after each one
giving her a kiss.  Some time, the puddles stopped
but not the kisses...  On warm Saturdays,
they wash their battered, field-grey Mercedes,
and take their charges for a drive in the country.
- Next to the two round stereo speakers
in the back window are their twin straw hats,
the type that donkeys wear on the beach.

 
   Michael Hofmann