What did you know of love?
You, who slept in a separate bed,
separate room, who knew nothing of us.

You told me to let him be,
let him get on with it, let him alone.
You gave me your harshest advice,

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told me what you’d done
after Grandpa was discharged from the Navy;
hiding from the merest sound, from you.

You made me hear every whistle
and blast of your advice.
And I never thanked you.

This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated