We said that we saw the fairies,
Tiny women with wings
And dresses made out of leaves
And stockings to cover their knees.
You believed us.
It was a power greater than the girls
Held during the Salem witch trials.
The paper lies that we told,
Could have easily been burnt,
Smoky ash sent into the atmosphere,
Instead you believed the fairies flew there.
We had cut out figments of our
Imagination and sat them next to us,
Supported by hat pins,
To be caught in a lens.
What else were girls of ten
And almost sixteen to do
For a summer of white dresses
During the end of a war?
I had learned to put in focus the
Dead among the living,
Tall, silent statues of men
Who had resigned to Great Britain.
So I attempted to focus the unreal
Among the real,
A proof among theorems
Of natural in the unnatural.
I painted them and their stories
For Sir Doyal to believe.
I recanted years later,
After my own girls had grown
And the fairies were just memories
Of a hot summer in a new country.
But the fifth photo, a secret I don’t know,
A fairy I didn’t paint.