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 ghostly to me.
A knock on the door, every letter or telegram
Delivered with sombre face and eyes
Might bring some devastating news
Up and down the street.
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”.