Here and there, now here and now
captured still, in forgotten photographs,
sepia edged mementos of days gone bye.
Dog-eared, brow-beaten, weathered yellow,
passed from pillar to post,
from hand to hand,
by family, by friends, by lovers, by strangers.
The box of photos fell to me
to unravel its mysteries
to trace my ancestry
like a child joining the dots
reveals the tree’s connections.
Here a death, there a birth,
a marriage made, a census recorded,
a migration there
Poverty, cholera and famine
drove the routes travelled,
the roots made,
till finally it was laid to rest with me.
© Sheila Ash, 2014