My Mother’s Album
In her best frock, posed grinning
by an improbable plant; her grandmother
when studio portraits were a novelty.
Turn the page: thin legs by the sea
caught by cameras that were now their own,
and a week at the seaside was a novelty.
At the back, the postcard collection;
sepia, soldiers singing about home –
‘There’s a long, long, trail awinding’.
No more pages. No ‘land of my dreams’
as the song promised, but the slump and a war
that brought its own shattering novelties.