After a Giselle Freund Photograph

And Pablo Neruda you are in blackness
to the left, deep of focus, yet let still
with streaks of Santiago daylight
that fall between you and your son, 
there so far from us,
once of that second.

Between a door ajar and a room within
there seems to lie the life,
heavy with skill, dark to fingertips
a surface clogged with shadow
and uncertain pattern
shaping the curve of years.

Divided between the table and a child,
your watcher and your page,
your country and these skinny walls,
your time and our present age,
then pen we cannot see
is surely silent.

A question of what falls,
seasons, reputations, water, glass.
your son is nearer to the light
and close to us, alert to what 
passes in the spaces after
the photograph, the day, the life.

--Adrian Dannatt (1993)