The Twinkle

The best photograph
of my grandfather
is his army picture.

It is of a man
I never knew.
A young man with
movie star good looks.
A beautiful young face
so full of life.
The camera loves him.
He beams and charms.
His eyes twinkle.
He wears his uniform
with so much pride.

The man I know now
is very different.
He is a sad man
worn down by age
and bad decisions.
He does not much resemble
the young charmer
in the photograph
about to become a soldier
and a father.

All the flash and fire
in that young man’s eyes
is long gone.
But I do recognize
The Twinkle.
It’s still there.
I know that twinkle well.

Wish I’d Looked Into Your Eyes

If I’d only looked into your eyes,
I believe I would have realised,
Would have eased the panic and the fear,
Let my heart speak and let my head hear,
Would have seen me in you standing there,
Broken the spell, made myself aware,
Could have slowed things down, applied the brakes,
Thought of more than just my own heartaches,
Would have known what’s true, felt what is real,
Before stepping on the hamster wheel,
Because after that things went too fast,
Can’t stop ripples when the stone’s been cast,
So I find myself, a decade on,
Wondering what I’ve done, and where you’ve gone,
Wishing I’d been, just a bit more wise,
Stopped myself, and looked into your eyes.

Almost Gone

Look through my window… See how the sunlight sparkles...On the breezy bay.

When last we met,
You were a shadow.
A dream…
A ghost from long ago.
Like the tune to a forgotten song,
You’re still here,
But almost gone.
I don’t think you know I’m here.
You are lost…
About to disappear.
Where you’ve gone,
I know not where,
But, surely you must still be in there.
Oh, daddy…
Do you know it’s me?
When you look,
What do you see?
Do you see me looking at you?
The little girl,
Who still loves you…

Update: I’ve just been awarded the Perfect Poet Award from the Poet’s Poetry Cafe website. This poem was so personal, and so painful for me to read and to write. I’m quite overcome.