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Photo In My Hand: A Poem

Updated on November 12, 2011

This poem is a reflection of my emotions at the loss of both my Grandparents. I wrote this poem in the wake of my Grandma's death in August this year.

My Grandfather had died some 4 years ago and it awakened all the emotions that come with grieving for a loved one.The photo in the poem stands pride of place in my home.

I often look at the photo and try and remember the happy memories we shared, but sometimes those memories are not enough and I wish for more than anything to have them here.

This photo of my Grandparents was taken outside Buckingham Palace, they were invited to the Queen's Annual Garden Party, they were so elated that they had been invited and talked about it for weeks, months after.

They loved this photo, and it brings back memories of when they were together and enjoying life and their family. I asked my mother for this photo after my Grandma's death so I can always admire the strong bond and love they had for everyone, never a bad word was said by either of them.

It is hard to imagine they are no longer here, and when I wrote this poem I was having a particularly hard time after visiting their home of 60 years, a home full of memories and love that now feels cold and empty.

The house was the same as it had been in my childhood, but was more poignant was the empty cup and newspaper next to my Grandma's favourite chair, a lasting reminder that she had gone to bed that night and never woke. It was if she would walk through the door at any moment.

I came home that night, and looked at this photo and was overcome with emotion. I couldn't sleep so began writing this poem as a way of expressing how I was feeling at that moment. I realised in writing this that all we really have are memories and photos and my Grandparents will never utter a word to me again, I miss their voices, their presence in my life, but I was so very lucky to have had them here.

Photo in hand

Tears descend

Splattering on its glass frame

A moment of time

If only I thought then

The photo taken

Would be nearly all I have left of you

A voice I can hardly remember

Time goes by

Cruelly, my memory starts to fade of you

Your laugh, I try to hear

But I have no recording

No comforting voice

Just a photo in hand

Walking into your empty house

Nothing has changed

The empty cup

Your paper half read

Lay silently on the table

Next to your favourite chair

As if you have left for a while

Soon to return

But this will never be

The house cannot be filled

With you warmth I crave

I long to fall into the photo

To see you once again

But all I have is a photo in my hand


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    • epigramman profile image


      6 years ago

      ....your heartfelt beautiful sincere memories have been captured here with poetic grace and sublime elegance - often pictures can be poetry in themselves - taking us back to a time and a place and the people we knew and loved - and it's better than to have loved than not to have loved at all - and I can tell by your hallowed words and in your introduction - this is truly a labor of love - sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 3:39pm


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