Sunday, 27 July 2008
colouring in black and white
Maybe 1967. My little sister’s tanned legs
and face tell me summer. And Uncle Reg
down from Wellington always around Christmas.
A Sunday drive then, in from Gore, Grandad driving,
seen from the back his hat giving him the silhouette
of a sunflower. A bit of a breeze parts Nana’s perm,
rolls the background clouds east from south.
Cardigans on means it isn’t warm. Shadows
under chins and eyes means an overhead,
mid-day sun. Nana is steady with her usual
cautious calm. She folds her hands and above
a neatly rolled cuff, her mother-of-pearl
watch-face catches the sun. Grandad's
Maori nose beams in the sun, his worker’s hands
lie relaxed over the roof and windscreen
to take ownership of his clean car.
Uncle Reg, the tricker, tickles my grinning sister’s head.
The youngest of seven, at five years old, she knows how
to be cute on the gleaming bonnet of the dim-blue Skoda.
The four of them (my uncle and grandparents now dead)
caught in black-and-white by me aged fourteen when
with a pronounced click I press the slow shutter
of my Brownie box camera. A moment ago.
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