Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Only Real Photograph


Those old sepia photographs had sat in the box; the one which smelled of staleness and chocolate from that day at the end of the Great War. 

I took the photographs out and lay beside the fire and for the first time I began to really see.
It was true enough: the smile on your face had been borne so well, but it was a smile that belonged to another – to someone far happier than you.

The truth lay in your eyes – they told a different story. They did not fit well nor rest. They had seen so much and you had never explained them away.

It was when Henry had been given the colour camera that I saw the changes. In those photos, I could see a warm glow which had begun to shine behind your eyes, the ones which had grown into your face.

At last, they belonged there.

There was a splendid restfulness in those eyes, dusted perhaps with age where the haunted child was no more. And so that final smile in the final photo, the day before you left, was the only real photograph I ever had of you.



bobby stevenson 2012

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