The Family Picture Curse

family picture

Cherished are the moments when

We gathered in front of the photographer’s screen

Poised in mirth and aplomb,

Forever captured for endurance sake.

But heed this warning:

Long after the camera flashed,

And the film was developed,

After the “right” picture was chosen,

Picked up from the studio, and hung prominently on the wall,

The eternal clock was set into motion

Counting down the days and years when each and every person

Captured in this resplendent canvas

Will no longer have breath to praise it

Or eyes to behold the memories it encased.

Each beating heart, so full of life in this picture

Beats to this clock, but ever time moves on.

Eventually, hearts stop; lives fall short,

Returning to the dust from which it began.

Yet, just as the original authors intended

This picture, displayed on the living room wall,

Captured every family member’s likeness

To remind all that come before and after

Of that person’s form and feature.

Thus, one’s moments of happiness

Is also one’s living curse.

In the end, after the final stroke of the predetermined hour,

Those who smiled for the camera

Now Only smile from behind the canvas’s frame.

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