Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your posts as much as possible.
6 April 2012
He sits astride the cannon. He is five.
At that time, I was not even alive.
This is my favourite picture of him:
such a joyous child, with so much to give.
His head is high; the wide, delighted grin
is echoed more restrainedly by the man
and the older boy, father and brother
sitting smiling behind him on the gun.
Their heads lean towards him. He does not see
their protective attitudes; family
he remembers as undemonstrative,
and himself repressed, but here he looks free.
His eyes are crinkled behind the round specs.
There’s a pride in the way his head’s thrown back —
a little-boy smugness: he’s in the front,
his chubby bare legs stuck out straight as sticks.
Now he’s my husband. He is eighty-three,
and the laughing child is still there to see
with that same spontaneous joy in life
as he smiles at me ... as he smiles at me.
April PAD Challenge #5: Something before your time.
Also submitted for dVerse FormForAll: Rubaiyat quatrains (mine using syllabics rather than metre).