Memory is a gallery
scenes and faces cramming
the long corridor’s white walls
My mother : a Gainsborough,
very detailed, very deft, very sure -
very flat.
Vermeer light makes Dad golden,
while my brother, inevitably,
is a Munch (although, as I recall,
it was always me
Who screamed)

Lowry painted you, though,
featureless as you move
through a grimy , smoke-palled landscape:
you, me, the eighties,
hazy unkept promises,
hints of unrealised hopes,
deliberately blurred into indistinction.
Intellectually, I know you have
eyes, skin, hair, teeth;
I know their colours
(blue, tan, brownish, not-quite white)
remember that you often used to
blink, and occasionally
to bite. I know all this.
I have not forgotten your face.

But you do not wear it here.
I think I need to smudge or
I could never look at you
and then look away.