archive the pix

take the photos

it is always surprising

how few we have

or take

thinking memories

are enough by themselves

but no

like old flames

these fade to grain

so take the photos

archive the pix

come the winter

of our lives the year

we can sit around

remember everything again

too seriously

oh man

we spent some years together

growing up getting drunk

doing what we could for fun

& then you got take yourself

all serious doing some

you felt important job

& we went along

for a little while more

until the sunny day

we went to the river

flew out on the rope

just hanging there

& you swung out

hadn’t reached high enough

hit the bank with a great bang

& you never forgave us

for laughing right out loud

& that’s how

we remember you now

not the great kid good ideas

but the growed up man

who took himself

too seriously

as foolishness

don’t ever forget

I remember you

will remember you

until the last breath

I breathe

& I know you had to go

felt every reason to leave

but know too

I was true to you

that askew point of view

you had

was only the blues

wailing low in your thoughts

& what you mistook

as foolishness

were only

this poor boys attempts

trying to be loving

& kind

richer than I am now

faces I don’t remember

call to me

there in the night

oh they come & go

the people

there in your life

some lasting for seconds

others

they never let go

& the numbers stack up

slow drag in the wake

the next day they are gone

if I only knew the secret

for the good ones

to stick around

I’d be richer than I am now

how I remember these things

there was a worn carpet laid on bare boards

holding only the centre of the room

two chairs either side of the open fire

a sofa & a high table we sometimes ate at

curtained windows either end

that in winter had frost on the inside

my little room had cowboys on the paper

thick rough blankets & in winter coats piled on too

it is the biting cold I remember most

cold feet on cold floors cold coming in

cold going out cold weather cold people

cruel carers who took the money & ran

& these would steal my few toys for their kids

nothing stayed nothing stuck mother run away

father always absent a ghost figure tired pale

& I never knew from one day to next

would any of these be there when I got home

within the walls of this cold place of no food

always gut hungry for anything going

& now when they say you ever coming home?

I tell them I find the north too cold prefer the south

& they try to tell me I’m a too sensitive soul

but we know better I’m a soul with strong memories

remembers the cold remembers how it lingers on

always

my old man learned early

play your cards close to your chest

let others fill in the gaps

he wasn’t much concerned

in how you felt about that

or fussed if you felt him cold distant

if he cared for you he’d do stuff for you

decorate fix your car clear the driveway

there were times he would be emotional

but nobody wanted any of that

he’d explode into fierce words

fast fists to quell opposition

& that as a kid was beyond frightening

no doubt the reason why his first wife

my mother left him flat for another man

I was only a toddler when one night

I heard noises downstairs went to see

she was standing by the window trembling

he was shouting loud straight standing over

get me the poker! she said to me eyes wide

he’s going to hit me! I got the fire poker

a heavy line of iron dragged it to her

he looked at me with those wild eyes

as I stood in front of her & I will never know

if he remembered that but I felt always he never forgave