The Picture

A pose of white silk, black cloth, white
Flowers spilling a volume of bloom down the
Front of her dress.  It speaks silence and happiness,
That second of time caught by a flash from a black 

Box.  They look serene, as if time could never 
Caution them, could never dim their eyes, as if
All things obscene and filthying were outside
Their clean frame.  Today's recreation of the scene

Is a game of high stakes with the loser losing all. 
For them it was a holy thing, an estate of trust, 
And perseverence in spite of ills.  Such quiet smiles.  
The past has such a knowing look, as if those two

Knew all that we have still to learn, as if they
Pity us for losing what we never worked to win.  And I,
Grand-daughter of their union, while I thank them for 
My life, am busy trying to cast-off all I hoped I'd never see.

My ambition drives my end and I am urged by opportunities
She never had.  Such chances make for hard-edged women, 
Callous men, and sour regeneration.  Our shame is 
Our selfishness.  Our noisy world of rubbish, careers and cars, 

Makes it hard to grasp what really matters, 
And all things leave their mark.  Those quiet smiles talk 
Of silence and of hope, of a simpler life of happiness.
Our ancestors' eyes hold all the good we've lost.
Collected Works
Return to Collections all
next poem