A few days at each
By Rosa Stevens
Pitter patter up that long road,
First to nursery then to primary.
Orange evenings and golden dogs.
Stretching my little arms through the fence to pick the blackberries.
Energy saving, we lived in near darkness.
Living apart at opposite ends,
Dry dinners, birthdays and valentines.
Sisterly hugs against the emptying feeling.
Crying for the love I thought only came in a two-parent household.
Living only partly, surviving out of holdalls.
Two versions of life progressing in parallel,
Always colliding in cramped corridors before school.
Strangers who were once family members I pass in town.
Baby photos have become no-mans-land.
Pain that is ten years deep.
My own work is self-labelled as documentary photography, out of a lack of a better title. By carrying a camera daily, I aim to embody the spirit of the Brownie in making the means to photography ready to me at every moment, without obstruction – by doing so, I can take a photograph of anything that captures my eye and interests me enough to preserve. Any of us can do this these days, with a camera readily available in our pockets around the clock – and many of us do so without even thinking about it. Next time you take your phone out to take a photograph, whether it is of your friends or of something that caught your eye, think about how you are participating in the act of documenting your life through photography. Make prints of your favourites, display them on your walls, share them with your friends and family. Follow the tradition of those who came before you and took their own snapshots documenting their lives. Everyone is a documentary photographer today, and this is a good thing.