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Experiment 6

The Family Album

page 50

The Family Album

Row upon row of family rakes
Uncoil the years, the camera's eye
Ruling their divided house, whose faces,
Poised between black and white, seem shy,
Yet are willing enough for someone's sake
To ease discomfort through its paces.

Faced with scenes so well preserved
I soon see the wounds their smiles belie,
And knowing there is no escape - that
These days one must learn to love - sigh
For that leisured urgency, casually observed
By my own ghost, grinning before my eyes.

For, over the pages, love turns out a luxury:
Be it great grandfather or the girl next door,
That leisure relaxes, surplus to necessity,
Those early smiles widen, begging for more,
That little extra to top the day off with
Or work a suburban lifetime for.

And through it all young Jack Narcissus grins
His sunday pleasure to his long lost Jill,
Only to tumble in his settled pool
Where, sinking, he believes he swims
Towards the lost excalibar of love, with which
To cut the knot that holds his passion in.