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A stained photograph of a snow-covered valley is all it takes to remember a whole life now gone.

It has a yellow stain

markings that mire its purity of black and white.


Yes it _was_ colour, but it was a black-white day,

I remember.

Now they are just markings,

strokes of silver nitrate photosynthesised on the page.

I peer close,

eyes half closed and see

the elementary chemicals, compounds, bonds.



the building blocks of matter

and there—

sliding between those indescribable quantum lights

is the snow, falling in real life.

How very small I was then.

I feel the pricks of ice,

the soak of cold shoes

lick the bark of the unyielding trees

rough brown bodily warmth.

Behind me is the house.

They are in there

if I don’t look.

The lost teddy

the lost father

the lost mother.

If I don’t look.

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