Monday, June 15, 2009

Photo Album

Photo Album

The album crackles as I open the pages.
Glossies, time machines for the nostalgic,
transport me

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.
It did.

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.


Steve said...

This is very moving. Reminds me of the monologue interlude in the middle of the song "Wave over wave", at least in style.

Pictures used to work like our memories. A couple of lasting images (perhaps fading a little with time) of random events surrounded and filled in by our mind's eye. The details either fade or they get sweeter. Today, every event is clicked hundreds of times by so many digital cameras whose images never fade and are proliferated electronically around the globe. Instead of being precious they are taken for granted... so many of them out there that memory is no longer needed to fill in the blanks.

I think as we gained easy access to the abundance of memory stores we may have lost a little bit on the sweet nostalgia that goes with skimming a few old photos and passing along the memories to our younguns.

nadinebc said...

Thanks Steve, your description of the evolution of pictures is most apt. Everything is digital now, and I think there is a certain detachment that comes with that format.

Brendan said...

Thanks for making me cry at work this morning--