Snapshot by Melanie Branton

My parents’ wedding photo
has been shoved in a cardboard box
in the spare room,
buried under walking aids
and incontinence pads.
It used to stand proud on the sideboard
in the dining room
until the furniture was moved upstairs
to make way for the level access shower
and the single bed with rubber sheets.

My father wrote my mum
a Valentine last year,
but he had to practise on
a separate piece of paper first.
He had forgotten how to spell “love” –
he tried it several ways,
but all seemed unfamiliar
and his peck of stiff “x”s crucified the page

kisses as unbending as algebra.


Melanie Branton is the 2015 Bristol regional Hammer and Tongue slam champion. She has also had poems published in a variety of online and print journals, including Prole, Ink, Sweat & Tears and The Interpreter’s House.


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