The album crackles as I open the pages.
Glossies, time machines for the nostalgic,
Here is a picture of Brendan and I
we’re hanging moons for the camera.
Catherine, arms spread wide, body tilted to the left,
Big grin, bright eyes…”TA DAAAAAA!”
She seems to say.
And there is a shot of Meme under the Christmas tree,
she is dressed in a fuzzy red housecoat.
I laugh now because I know years ahead
the only thing to change about Meme
is the colour of the housecoat.
A fading photograph
of four pleasant babies in their Sunday Best.
Ron, Cas, Terry and Tony,
members all of the balding “BIG 6”;
And this one, its a favourite of mine.
It captured almost everyone, even Billy, Chris and Phillip,
They are all squeezed one atop the other,
squat together on Grandma’s couch
I can hear laughter, squeals of pain,
and “Hurry up and take the picture”
Mom took that one.
This is everything I know about family.
And here, a picture of Grandma
dancing like a leprechaun in the backyard.
Under the summer sun.
Smiling a silly grin that says she is up to no good.
There is one of Granddad and Grandma
in bed, posing coquettishly.
Grammy is raising a glass of wine to the camera.
I wonder if that is the homemade Rhubarb Wine?
She gave me a glass of that stuff one Christmas:
“This will set you on your ear,” she said.
This one is of Granddad and I dancing at my wedding.
He is telling me not to cry,
leading me smoothly across the floor.
This last one is where it all started,
a black and white photo,
Grandma and Granddad on their honeymoon.
They stand together beside a car,
Granddad is holding her tight,
smiling in a way that seems to say:
I hold the world in my arms.
This is everything I know about love.