Faded sepia

A frame of grey cardboard

Age-speckled and smelling of damp

Discarded

Destined for the dustbin

But Wait

Dust away the mildew

Look closely at the subjects

And wonder

Two figures – posed

In the unnatural postures demanded by slow exposure

Flinching at the flash of magnesium

The young couple – engaged at last

Affirming their commitment for posterity

He stands – Proud – Napoleonic

Hand in the breast of his jacket

And she – Demure

Lace at her throat

Gazes up at him

Despite the poor definition

Her pupils are enlarged by love

And his moustache – sparse with Youth

Bristles proudly

My heart turns over

To think that those – now dead

Are forever Young.

Copyright H.St.V.Beechey. 1989