The things we pass on
It’s all in my hands: Stroud’s back garden in 1990.
I stand there with plump legs on the patio warmed
by a low sun tracing my side, all of four buttons on a
blue checked shirt done up, arms half raised with fingers
like I’m playing piano. I follow the close voice
of my mother with a squinted smile
kneeling behind the camera. I see her, younger
than I am now ready to push a button to hold this in
permanence, a record of early greatness.
I feel the colour – touch hair & grass & the brick of distant homes –
It’s the moment I want, the glossy proof of it, evidence
of a shared past that saturates my present thoughts &
moves me to consecrate three decades on. I turn it over
to the neat curves of my mother’s handwriting:
Sam at 1 ¼ penned in the top-left corner, turn it over again
thick with summer, already raising me up in its image.
see the big red pedal car behind me, behind that the Cotswolds
I have the look of a child that knows it’s loved, as I know
I’ll return to this scene father to a younger self,
reminded of his blessings.