The family portrait

…is always taken by someone else,
Have you noticed? Pictures of
Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters,
Children, husbands, wives, can
Always be taken by wives, husbands,
Children, sisters, brothers, fathers,
Mothers – as long as one of them
(husband, wife, brother, sister, child
Parent) is missing. Why is the one
Taking the picture (boy, girl, man,
Woman) never seen as part of it?
The one who sees when she’s
Looking pensive, or catches him
With the sun in his hair, the one
Who sees the kids in temporary
Truce, just so. What is absent about
This taker, this stealer of moments?
The family portrait is perhaps
Overrated. Posed for a stranger. Its
Importance overstated.

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Gratuitous Picture of Dog Attached (You’re Welcome)

My daughter thinks time stands still
While she plays with her dog. She’s not
Done licking my hand, she explains, chill,
Mom. It’s late, maths awaits, but what
I clearly don’t understand – the eye-roll
Punctuates the exasperation –
Is how time and tide wait, and no bells toll,
And the earth stills its rotation;
Clock hands twiddle their thumbs, because
The dog and her human haven’t played all day.
And here’s the riddle: Why is it so late, calculus
Takes so long! she wails. This is probably not
A good time to weigh Time taken against
Time spent, and when we wonder where the years
Went, will those hours learning calculus
Help us calculate value-per-lick versus
The short end of homework’s stick?