Bursting

It's such a simple moment –
One of those occasions,
Captured through the camera's lens,
The colours bulging with life,
That would have been otherwise forgotten.

I'm so tiny, hair still blonde and
Daddy is smiling not at the camera, or me,
But at you,
Because once upon a time,
I made you both so happy.

His arms are around me,
Enveloping my pixie frame and
All around us
There are bubbles.

The light fractures,
Iridescent like the moment,
In those little spheres –
So fleeting, so temporary –
Of air and water.

The image is timeless,
Our smiles teeming with innocence and
I feel detached as I stare at the photograph,
Because somehow, I feel as though
He and the little girl must be strangers.

The little girl in the photograph –
Blonde pigtails, roses in her cheeks
And a delighted smile –
Cannot be me.

No, these two people, this
Father and daughter,
Never changed.
They stayed the same,
Never moving from this frame,
And somewhere in the universe
They still remain,
And he is forever and always
Teaching his little girl
How to blow bubbles,
And nothing more.

In that universe
He will never teach her
How to cry,
Or how to shout a promise
And whisper a lie.
He will never teach her
What it is to find
No light in the darkness,
Or how it really feels
To be left behind.

But the moment, I suppose,
Is much like the bubbles
In the photograph:
So beautiful, so fleeting,
So weightless and floating.

But all bubbles burst and
I suppose ours did
Quite spectacularly,
Spattering blood and saltwater
On her pinafore.