on considering a photo of an old friend

on considering a photo of an old friend
your picture in my album is you
but the image is not you
not the you I knew so well
the smiling esprit sardonique
whose rapier thrusts and ripostes
flew above the heads of dullest ears
who laughed without knowing
smiled without understanding
saw you without seeing.
and thought they knew you
some wanted to own you
they dared not say so.
the photo  – a half-smiling you
or are you frowning
lips pressed, hair blowing
one eye covered, one eye showing,
I wonder what it saw
beyond the fields,
beyond the glowering sky
beyond, into, maybe, eternity
that single penetrating eye
still pierces to my soul
did the cameraman turn
ashamed as they perceived
their nakedness writ in your eyes
was it love they saw there
or hate
joy or anger
did you sit together
and take out tobacco
to make a cigarette to share
or open beers
did you make promises
vows soon broken
a thousand questions
lie behind this battered
treasured picture
a thousand riddles
remain unsolved
where are you now ?

© coolhermit 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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Hello again… it’s nostalgic’ish again. D’you know how much this echos my own muse at the moment. Like it. 🙂

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