The photo that I didn’t take

IMG_1172 - Copy, cross process

It seemed we'd barely settled 
Quietened for the concert when Lynne
Announced your name.

The first performer on the programme had played
For hardly twenty seconds. The second was a no-show
And the third - out of the blue - was you

My darling just after you were called
As you squeezed past to reach the aisle
Your startled eyes found mine

In your face I read 
Bewilderment: What, me? Right now?!
And in return I think you saw my eyes say:

Yes, go on my love
It will be fine. Off you go, and hurry now...
Cajolery, encouragement

But was I stern or did I smile?
I hope I smiled. I wish I'd said just take your time
So that you reached the piano flush with confidence and love.

You took the stool and from behind I saw you small
Uncertain, posture tilted slightly to one side
So keen to please the audience of parents and performers

And in return
In breathless silence, the audience
So keen to please you too

I dug the proper camera from my bag
Stepped into the aisle
And framed you on the viewing screen

I looked a moment
And willed you on...be strong!
Your fingers searched the keys

And then before the first notes
Of your long-perfected piece
I lowered it, the camera

It just felt false
Too much the stock response
A dreary, Dad-ish, textbook thing to do

Instead I watched you play, with real eyes
And love and pride, your image here
Already deeply written on my heart