in an old black and white photo.
She is wearing a striking hand-made dress
Decorated with red and blue poppies on a cream background
Spread out on the lawn next to a standard rose, also red
I remember, or make up.
She appears unposed staring uncertainly
At the camera, caught in the throes of three dilemmas,
Father, brother, rose…
Her brother is howling, for the spade?
Do I imagine the pat and dig
Of a child’s concentration on a job
Lovingly entrusted, the scent of dry
Crumbly soil running through chubby
Hands grimy with sand, caught in the moment
Of reluctance, wavering, spade half poised
In the act of relinquishing, of giving in
Too early, too young, waving the spade
Goodbye for the years ahead?
Copyrighted by the author