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
That seemed 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 a stony eyed girl
Harbouring grudges behind her 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 them, it’s a moment of joy captured forever.
For us, it’s brokenness and mockery
Hung up on the wall.