Small fingers flutter goodbyes
– first important days
in a photograph, held in my mother’s hand.
Square sandwiches in lunchwrap – with crusts,
maroon and white checks
plaits and ribbons
– all important I’m told.
Memories are lifted with trepidaceous reverence
by the frailty of time
from the shoebox filled with advertisements of my childhood –
reflections of a life seen through eyes which look like my own
although I don’t recall
the brushing out of tangled dreams into patterned braids
woven from chestnut strands with auburn flints
attenuated by black and white images.
I glance to the frames on our walls –
a montage of our own children
with their smiles
and scooters with whiskered wheels which crumple over gravel,
and smeared on elbows, trails of grey skid tracks
transferred on to lips by kisses.
Hats and fishing rods and tangled nests of line
hugging wading ankles
which disappear into the unexpected laughter of the sea,
leaving clothes adhering
like the amniotic sack on a newborn calf,
shivering comforted – cocooned in a soft towel.
Chocolate cake mixture licked
and smeared on fingers and faces –
ceremonial markings of triumph over
the challenge for the beaters.
Puddle pools – bare fleshed freedom
hosed with the strobe of splashes drawing butterflies in the sky
momentarily paralysing breath and time –
feet in shiny shoes.