Three photos in an black-paper album:
the schoolboy (sharp) in the family group,
the youth (blurred) playing tennis,
the student (faded) on the bridge;
the rarely-spoken story of your death,
in a boat,
out of a boat,
weeks to find the body;
and a clock in the library with your name on.
Not many clues to fill in the gaps:
did you laugh?
did you love?
did you live?
Time muffles your voice
and hides your secrets
more securely than did the water -
for photos fade,
while numberless descendants die with you
and the brightest branch of the family
will be for ever fruitless.
(in memoriam Richard Emrys Thomas 8 July 1930 - 22 February 1951)