Before Digital, There Were Prints

June 16th, 2014
online photo galleries black and white

I’m not on a screen, phone, hard drive or disk

Nor on a laptop, DVD, or even a playlist

You won’t find me on Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter,

Nor Facebook, WordPress or even on Flickr

I live in an album, several decades old

That holds many stories, people, and places untold

There’s no backups, copies or files of me

Just take one look; you get what you see

 I grew up long before the Internet was born

Where communication was seen somewhat as an art form

There was no downloading, uploading or instant live streaming

No Liking, Pinning, +1ing or Tweeting

Just good old fashion visits from family or a friend

Who come to remember, relive or make a means to an end

I am bound in a book made of paper and leather

With dust on the edges, I’m as light as a feather

Sometimes I’m taken out and held in the hands

Of the image’s past lovers, relatives, family or friends

They pick me up with one hand or two

Gently cradling me in their palms, as if to rescue

Sometimes there’s laughter, sometimes there’s tears

And very few times, right before my eyes, I shatter fears

Because coming back to the past can be painful or sad

Albeit therapeutic, humbling, and really not at all mad

The image printed on me is black and white

A young couple in love, the man a tall height

It was the day of their wedding, the year 1952

After the war was over, and there was so much to do

Young ones playing in the background, older kids on their bikes

Pedaling down the street so fast, as if to take flight

A white picket fence, a small, quaint chapel

When the world was much simpler, life wasn’t a hassle

Her smile was radiant, his hand on her back  

The shutter clicked twice, and that was that

I was first passed around weeks after the ceremony

Between the family and loved ones, it served as a testimony

Of true love that day, when life wasn’t on-screen

To interact with someone, face-to-face communication was key

After some months I was framed and put under glass

Displayed in the living room for any who passed

I saw many gatherings, parties and children playing

As the years went on, those kids grew up, the couple decaying

But I remained the same, as I always will be

I may fade or get crumpled, but the image is printed forever on me

After the children moved out and the couple passed on

I was taken out of my frame and put into the book where I now live on

And although I don’t see the bright light of day

I remain a testament to their future generations, and hear what they say

Some come looking, others stumble upon me

To retrace their lineage or unlock the past, and I am the key

So I am not invisible in a box full of wires,

Where photos aren’t real, they’re merely just files

So maybe some day in the future, when computers are long gone

I will still be there to tell my story, which always lives on.