Maggie Butt

Time Travellers

The sick are well, dead smiling, old are young,
framed photos bloom on windowsills and walls,
I am a baby, arms aloft, learning to laugh,
time zig-zags like a running man avoiding bullets.

Framed photos bloom on windowsills and walls
I am veiled bride, gowned graduate, new mum,
time zig-zags like a running man avoiding bullets
we’re every-flavour Spangles: orange, berry, lime.

I am veiled bride, gowned graduate, new mum,
I am in Venice with my grown-up daughters
we’re every-flavour Spangles: orange, berry, lime.
I am a girl, in cotton frock with poodle-print

I am in Venice with my grown-up daughters,
three straw-haired nieces squint into the sun,
I am a girl, in cotton frock with poodle-print.
Faces unwrinkle, hair turns luxuriant and brown

three straw-haired nieces squint into the sun,
a bunch of snowdrops, tulips, roses, autumn leaves.
Faces unwrinkle, hair turns luxuriant and brown
he’s in a de-mob suit, leaving the war behind,

a bunch of snowdrops, tulips, roses, autumn leaves.
Mum is a red-cross nurse, dad like a movie star
he’s in a de-mob suit, leaving the war behind
futures latent as a roll of undeveloped film.

Mum is a red-cross nurse, dad like a movie star
I am a baby, holding up my arms, learning to laugh,
futures latent as a roll of undeveloped film,
the sick are well, dead smiling, old are young.