Family Snap


The Bisto Kids,
three in a row
just like the ads,
sepia siblings
dressed in best
and posed,
60 years ago
when the flash flared.

My brother dark and thoughtful,
dark hair, dark eyes,
seeming even then to take control.

My sister already worried
almost into tears,
a sad bewildered look
beyond her years;

and wide-eyed-innocent me.

Years later
on our memory-lane tour,
he led the way,
made the bookings,
got the tickets,
became an instant expert
on everything we saw.
We followed after.

Used and abused all of her life
we gave her what we could:
glimpses of the past,
a hurried journey through
this country she abandoned
so many years ago,
people and places
shadowed by her thoughts
we could not know.
Talked about the might-have-beens,
the unlearning of our childhood
that took so long.

For me
a telescope into the past,
a clearer look at who we were,
what we became;
a slender thread
linking the children we once knew.
A small shift perhaps
between us,
a readjustment
before the thread broke
and we snapped back
into our lives.


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