The Picture

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Capturing a brief instant in time

That offers a degree of immortality

To the frozen subjects it portrays,

As long as that image still exists

That moment will be preserved

And open a glimpse into the hearts and souls

Of those who have become shadowy strangers

Since the time of their passing.

Their presence still haunts me

As they were then in that photo.

They are as they were in that distant time

But the years between have faded them,

Now made them ghostly to me.

A knock on the door, every letter or telegram

Delivered with sombre face and eyes

Might bring some devastating news

Already passed to other trembling hands.

“Dear Sir/Madam, We regret to inform you”

Years spent in dread and fearful waiting.

That door, that ghastly page might be your own,

The words meant for you alone.

Joy, relief, the laying down and putting aside

Now, framed in that image, a photograph

Captured by chance, a serendipitous moment

When arms embraced, a child swept up

A future now safe to contemplate,

Preserves forevermore that scene that says

“I am home and all is well”.

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