0426 Was It A Smile Or A Cry? For Salma

You reminded me, and I dug it out -
the snap I've always hated but didn't know why;
now you've reminded me and thank you -

they know they have to stand with their back to the sun
so, without thinking of you, but
thinking of their future thinking about the past
they make you stand facing the sun
so you squint and screw your eyes up which is bad enough
while they take random advice from the other adults
and then as if that wasn't bad enough
they say 'smile! ' as if they're saying
you can win this race (for us) .

Is it a smile or a cry?
it's the record of the first time you lied on camera
for your parents who should be ashamed.

It would be more honest
if instead of smile or watch the birdie or say cheese
they said 'Now lie for the camera! ! '...
and somewhere
truth would smile.

by Michael Shepherd

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