Open 2024 Poems - Ben Macnair


Mr Zapruder’s Family Film Night
By Ben Macnairr


Somewhere, in another Universe,
Abraham would sit down with his family,
and watch their glory days in the new fangled Kodachrome.
They would sit and delight in how the children had grown,
and be embarrassed by their choices in haircuts, clothes and partners.
They would sit and reminisce about the good old days,
and how the Sixties were a fine time to be alive.


In this universe, though Abraham Zapruder is known as the man
who caught a decisive time in World History,
one of only a few dozen people who saw the full horror of frame 313,
who was haunted by visions for the rest of his life,
who made money from selling his film,
but who gave a lot of it to the young widow who lost her husband,
the same day that the walls of Camelot came crashing down.


After that fateful November day, when old certainties were pushed aside,
Abraham Zapruder never touched another Camera,
His life forever marred by being the Cameraman whose life is remembered
for capturing the death of the President.


Closing Time


It all started, when buskers were learning wonderwall,
and we would meet up, for a night.
Students, learning about our subjects, hoping to break hearts,
whilst protecting their own.
Individuals, who by twists of fate, of time and geography
knew each other when we were trying to be anyone else.
Over lager and pretentious drinks that only the young can get away with,
we will sit and remember all of the teachers that we tried to forget,
spreading Chinese whispers about other friends, knowing that the truth
was so much more boring.


The pub is decked in cheap tinsel,
the type that Woolworths used to sell,
and we realise that we no longer have that much in common,
except for the past,
and we all remember it differently.
The landlord rings the bell,
the old dog barks, and it is time to put another ritual to bed.
So, as we say goodbye, and walk out into our city,
the one that is so slowly dying,
because that is what happens when councils
put their ghosts ahead of their citizens,
knowing that some of us will be back next year,
and some of us won’t,
because that is what happens to friendships.
The Moon hangs thin in the air,
the darkness is dappled with diamonds,
and once more, all of my school-friends are strangers.


Ben Macnair from UK lives in Staffordshire. He is a widely published, award-winning poet and playwright, with three produced plays to his name. He works in the Arts.


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