Ripples in Time

The one tells of a tree laden with peaches
that grew in their Bellingham garden.
Plucking one
she’d sink her teeth into the tender
flesh.
Eyes sparkling
she brings her cupped hands
up under her chin.
Nearly eighty years on
she feels the juice burst
from her mouth
and drip down her young face.

The other tells of a tree laden with peaches
that grew from a neighbour’s garden.
Her mother would gather
from ground and branches
an annual crop.
With an air
of anticipation
she evokes the fragranced house.
Sees once more the jars
fill with steaming jam
tastes toast spread with this treat
savours each chunk of the cherished fruit.

...after great distance of time our imagination of the past is weak; and we lose, for example, of cities we have seen, many particular streets; and of actions, many particular circumstances. This decaying sense, when we would express the thing itself (I mean fancy itself), we call imagination... But when we would express the decay, and signify that the sense is fading, old, and past, it is called memory. So that imagination and memory are but one thing, which for diverse considerations hath diverse names.
Leviathan Of Imagination chapter II
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

From the exhibition Family Photos:Reworked. I used old and new photographs, old and new techniques, to tell the story of three generations of my maternal family. My great-grandfather was a master baker in Lee High Road, Lewisham. My grandfather was a butcher, also in Lee High Road, before enlisting. I presented reproductions of original family prints, images created combining these with digital ones, and reworked pinhole shots of ‘Pettifer’ addresses. Inspired by stories told and information gleaned, I wrote a text that incorporated poems.

The poem opposite is from Ripples in Time and concerns the different accounts of an annual event as told by my mother and aunt.