The decanters locked in the cabinet
with cocktail sticks and duty-free cigars
were the perks of the job, my father’s,
finally getting to fly at thirty-five.
They came out for parties, those nights
when friends came round to drink gin
while he ran through his latest slides –
New York, Nairobi, Tehran,
skyscrapers and street markets
under the same pellucid sun.
Never good to think how the years go by.
They’re not like turnings off a street
we didn’t take and can now revisit.
Those were his moments as each click
brought up another photograph,
and the decanters went round
and the neighbours talked and laughed
and the world looked just slightly larger.
Image: Marina Shiderova; text: Tom Phillips