Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gentle to them

I study their carefree faces, frozen mid smile
with the air teasing the hair around their head.

In the thin light of a Californian summer smog they
cast no shadows but faint reflections dance on the wet sand
like the light that dances in their eyes.

They are young and beautiful with the playfulness of youth
and the confidence of early adulthood when life stretches to infinity.

Strange to think they were already pensioners
when I was a child four thousand miles away.
Strange to wonder if this cheerful company
laughing on the wall from a hundred years ago
ever found the dreams for which they yearned.

I hope life might have been gentle to them;
especially the girl with the kindly eyes and
the diffident young man to whom she smiles.

(c) A McN

An old photograph on the wall of my hotel room captured a group of young people I could never have known. They had yet to live through two world wars and a great depression. I felt a strange and fatherly affection for these youngsters; older than my grandparents yet as young as I still feel inside.


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