Upon a Shelf


She said, “What are you doing?”
He said, “Let me take one picture.
You look so beautiful tonight;
I want always to see

The look now in your eyes,
And to remember this occasion.”
And so he took the photo,
Now a part of history.

The picture sits upon a shelf,
Beside one of their daughter;
Inside a study where he works,
For hours every night –

He looks at those two pictures,
Those most precious in his keeping,
And smiles to think about their life
Of passion and delight.

But where the hours will have sway,
The years aren’t long in coming;
The slowest enemies that chase
Can catch up to our running —

He looks outside the window now
The flowers out of season;
And thinks to call her to come see,
But then he checks himself

The only love he ever had
Is gone; their child grown now –
And all that’s left are memories
And smiles
Upon a shelf

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