Poetry – Looking Back

Looking Back

Perhaps in decades to come

You might come across an image of a man

Looking back at you from a familiar place.

You might notice his stance,

His dress and demeanour,

And ponder at the focus of his gaze.

You might wonder what he is looking at, seeing and thinking,

And wonder about his life and intent.

When you look at that frozen moment,

Forever captured in that instant,

It might stimulate your curiosity.

What was the story of that moment?

What was going through that mind?

Where was he going?

What life had he led?

What world had he moved in?

What was this moment all about?

Now when you return to that familiar place

There is an empty space where that man had once been.

Now there is a story

That will never be told.

Opher – 4.5.2019

I wrote this in response to a photograph of a canal. It was a photo taken a hundred years ago. A man was walking along the tow-path, is dark suit with a cap – only a hundred years ago, but a million miles of change. The world he lived in was an alien planet.

He was looking at the camera. His eyes were thoughtful. It made me wonder.

I am familiar with that stretch of canal. It hasn’t changed much. But the world has changed around it.

I look at the place and can picture that man. It makes me wonder what world he inhabited, his thoughts, dreams and wishes, and how his life panned out. What was in his head when he looked up that day?

Will someone look back at an image of us in a hundred years’ time and wonder?

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