Negatives

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I stare at the old pictures in their idle bedroom.
One with two people smiling out to sea in Kilkee.

Another shows them standing at the chapel door,
at my parents’ wedding in Kilcorney.

One gives me a glimpse of grandad,
a stolid stare down from his throne on a Caterpillar dozer.

Another which catches my eye, mom
locked in, held dear in her mother’s arms.

None show grandpa drunk.
But I heard about it.

None show his temper.
Although I heard about it too.

None show them both wavering with cancer.
None showed the coffins we carried.

© Christopher Patrick O’Riordan

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