Sepia Memories

The shadow of my father
falls on a wilting patch of lawn,
his back to afternoon sunlight.
Aged two, I hold a peach,
frown into sun, serious,
small legs in firmly buckled sandals.

Sepia conserves those days.
The peach has long been eaten
or thrown away;
the sun has disappeared below the horizon,
risen and again set.
We have donned new clothes
many times over, held flowers,
smiled into lenses,
been snapped in different poses,
flattering, unflattering, alone, with friends,
or trapped at inadvertent moments
with smiles misplaced, hair blown by wind.

Of all those printed memories
to me most poignant,
in front of a small girl
in large sunbonnet,
the shadow of the photographer
caught in that moment.


Published: Dodecahedron: Poets Union Anthology 2010; New Poets 15, (2010); A Nickel’s Worth of Dreams (PoetWorks Press 2004