THE SHOEBOX IN THE ATTIC.
© David Milligan-Croft.
I look at myself – not in a mirror,
But in an old black & white photograph.
It’s about forty-odd years old now,
And there’s a tear down the middle, Where another photograph
Was stuck to it.
I am on the doorstep of someone’s house – It could be mine – I’m not sure.
The door is open, and inside,
I can see a battered old pram
And a vinyl chair with metal legs. The house looks old,
Judging by the worn door frame
And the rounded edges of the bricks.
I am about two, I think.
I have jelly-bean sandals and white socks On chubby white legs. I presume I have shorts on
But that is the part that’s torn.
I am wearing a thick, woolly cardigan. I’m being hugged
In my huggable cardigan
By a woman I do not know.
When I say, “woman”,
She looks about fifteen.
And is wearing a shiny floral blouse And black ski-pants Which I am sat upon.
She has her face squished up against mine, Like she loves me, or something. And her arms wrapped tightly around me, As though she’s afraid I’ll disappear.
I am so scrunched up
That my head dominates the rest of my body. Beneath my fair-haired fringe
I wear a frown.
My furrowed brow is depressed
Onto two depressed eyes.
She looks happy.
I do not.