TUESDAY: A Super 8 Past


Copyright is held by the author.

Ted still has a movie projector.
And, stacked in a closet, are spools of film
from when the children were young.
They’re all in super 8,
as silent as the enthusiasm of anyone but himself
for watching Carolyn in a tutu,
Mark swinging a tiny baseball bat.

When family show up at the house,
they’re wary of that monster in the bedroom,
how it needs the smallest unwitting prompting
to emerge from its dark den.
You can feel the tension at any gathering.
Everyone keeps one eye on the wall
in case a tacked-up sheet should magically appear.
The idea is to distract Ted
at every opportunity.
But that’s not easy when he’s always but
ten steps from bouncing babies,
smiling parents, the bars of a crib,
first shoes, fat little legs waddling down a beach.

It’s a wonder the film has survived.
But the frames have somehow held together.
And not even colour fade or slight emulsion
bothers him in the slightest.
He has family history at his fingertips.
But, more than that, there’s his past,
made so magical by the light,
it’s as if he’s living it.

When he does put on his show,
he doesn’t notice the squirms,
the boredom, the fake smiles.
Why should he?
His is a film of a better time.
No one was squirming, bored
or faking it then.


Image of John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, U.S. resident, recently published in Stand, Washington Square Review and Rathalla Review. Latest books, Covert, Memory Outside The Head and Guest Of Myself are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in the McNeese Review, Santa Fe Literary Review and Open Ceilings.

  1. Nice poem.

  2. Really like this pen. It tells a touching story.

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