Three Common Faults in Photographs

1. Someone missing from group

I would put you – there –
in the plastic chair at the bedside
where your warm voice would marvel
at her tiny hands
her heart’s insistent beat.


2. Wrong composition of group

All that day I wished you nearer –
your body a match I wanted to light
I watched your paint-stained fingers
work the corkscrew, swirl
dark red wine into a thin glass.


3. Group too far away

There they are, my family –
fading like a hymn’s last refrain
while dust motes speckle down shafts of light.
As I see them back away, I
don’t know whether to wave, or follow.