Thursday 13 October 2016

mantelpiece photos - poetry by Bill Hannan

memories of this premiership
will be imprinted in our minds forever
until we turn the soil
and end up in the ground.

exceptional sentiments from a footy coach
I thought as I watched the tele
and surely  a witness to how
he’s lifted his battlers to the heights

next to the tele on the mantelpiece
stands a handful of family photos
intended of course to bring back the good times
supposing the past times forever remain good

that photo of little me and my sister
me leaning my curls on her shoulder
she in the best dress mother could buy
has become  a memory of lost times

the joy my mother had scraping
to afford a posh photographer
whispers behind the frame but now
my sister is dead and I have grown old

long dead too is my mother
photographed in mid-life looking solemn
I hear her sing as I remember her bouts of madness
and marvel at how she crafted our way through poverty

next to that sits our eldest daughter
with her first child taken two decades ago
looking more alike than they do now
reminders of the passing of generations

I wonder should I keep such potential for gloom
on the mantlepiece facing our television room

Editor's Note: Bill Hannan was my English and French teacher at Moreland High School in the early sixties, He has remained an engaged and engaging figure with active interests across local and Australian history, literature, politics and the arts. 

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