Julie Rafalski

Old Photographs

Old photographs- they never look the same as your memories.

I look at a photograph from long ago.

Plain walls replace the other dark bluish ones with patterns of reflected light from various lamps.

The floor is confined to a small sliver instead of a carpet that would imprint its texture on your leaning hand.

The bookshelves with haphazard leaning magazine spines are more rectangular than those other soft-edged bookshelves with various books or ceramic objects.

The overhead light gives everything an even dull glow, inundating the mysterious shadows in the corners.

The mirror on the wall omits to reflect the the colourful lights and pine branches with ornaments.

The TV set is showing another channel.

The cottage in the painting on the wall stares back.

Instead of the smell of soup cooking, the smell of old photographic paper.
Instead of snow falling in the night air outside, the midday sun shining.
Instead of bells in the distance, my wristwatch ticking.

So divergent are these two places: one imprecise and shifting and the other fixed, busy capturing a single non-existent moment.