Photographs – Jacqueline Nash

Tucked away in a dark corner
at the bottom of the cupboard,
battered lid atop,
sits a tatty, brown cardboard box,
waiting to be opened.
I take off the lid,
sepia faces stare back at me,
family history.

I tip them onto the carpet,
assorted sizes,
some crumpled,
some with folds,
some stained with ring marks
from cups of coffee or tea
drunk many years ago,
and some; almost perfect.

Aunts, uncles, grandparents,
great aunts and uncles,
great grandparents,
with friends and people
they had met along their way.

Trips to the seaside,
men in uniform
smoking in the garden,
new born babies,
studio photos of women
trying to look like film stars;
all frozen, locked in a moment of time.

A pang of sadness
grips my heart,
they are
somehow depressing.

Although taken in happy times,
they are brown reminders of
relatives once young,
once alive, enjoying life,
reminders that they once existed.

I feel myself mourning their loss.

With a sad heart
and a sense of my own mortality,
I return them to their box,
replace the dusty, battered lid
and place them once again
in the dark corner
at the bottom of the cupboard.