Carbon Copies

I look at the pictures on the mantel

the faces familiar, 

yet different

carbon copies of carbon copies

alike, yet not the same

a shade or two different

as copies are likely to be.

Not perfect as if perfect was once

an ideal that no copy could be.

I look at my Great-Grandfather

stern Victorian in a black and white.

Do I see myself, an imperfect copy?

My Grandchildren are next,

copies of the copy, not the original.

I look into their faces

and I see what looks familiar

yet, it is different

carbon copies of carbon copies.

We carry our copy with us,

out into the streets and lanes

remembering while forgetting

that we are that, 

copies of copies.

We are but dust

carbon dust begat from carbon dust,

to begat more carbon dust,

until we are once again

just dust ourselves

a carbon copy of carbon copies.

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