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THE BOX BROWNIE

The photo of Stephen Baum and me aged 4

falls out of the back of a book. Each of us

is holding a part of a redundant

Kodak Brownie and laughing in ecstasy.

The battered camera is Stephen’s.

The sun is shining, and we are on the lawn

in front of the flats where we lived. It was spring

or summer ’47. Our mothers

would take us to the entrance of the yard

of the dairy on Child’s Hill so we could watch

the horses and hear the waters rushing

through wooden slats, washing the bottles,

and Golders Hill Park where the sticklebacks were,

and the Heath with its ack-ack emplacements.

The snap would have been taken by my mother

or his. The Baums moved to a semi

in Temple Fortune. My mother and me

moved north. I bought the book much later:

a second hand edition of Arthur Mee’s

‘London – Heart of the Empire and Wonder

of the World’, thickened with age and damp,

in which a child had written in pencil,

on the last page, ‘THE END’.

 

 

 

© Copyright David Selzer
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1 Response
  • Catherine Reynolds
    April 1, 2019

    There is a wonderful sense of ‘living history’ in this poem. Of lives left behind, as inevitably as childhood gives way to our adult and later years. Transition, both temporal and geographical, are stamped into the words you so beautifully compose.

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