Long I gaze,

At the lie on the wall-

A broad grey photograph

Of a family of four.

Grandly it hangs,

Framed in Cuban mahogany

Fooling strangers over a cup of tea.

But I see a different story,

Through the smiles kept bound

On inkjet paper-

I see the blue behind mother’s makeup

That couldn’t conceal the fear in her eyes

Or the sorrows nestled on her brows.

I smell the rum on father’s breath

And the vexation of his hands,

Confused without a weapon.

I see the elation in brother’s eyes,

For whom it was another picture’s day

Where daddy was not “angry”.

And I see myself, 

Harbouring grudges behind my bosom

That were soon to breed demons.

All smiled, for a flash of light

Before the gloom on our faces returned 

Like dark clouds.

For the world, it’s a moment of joy 

Captured forever.

For us, it’s brokenness and mockery

Hung up on the wall.


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