Monday, January 3, 2011

31 Winter Poems: Poem 3


I stare at their faces in the photograph.

Two young girls,

so much alike they could be twins,

standing on either side of their father.

Pressed white dresses with

shoulders starched like tiny wings.

He sits, arms crossed, on a wooden chair

dragged from its usual spot at the table

to this place beneath the rose trellis.

When I peer into this garden scene

my body is flooded with sadness

at the loss between them, its weight

shadowing their eyes

their downturned lips

his lazy smirk.

A mother

a wife

somewhere in the world

too tired, too broken, too ashamed

to stay.

Her departure already shaping them.

I imagine the way they must

vigilantly listen for her voice.

Darning their socks, shining his shoes,

washing her red enamel cup again and again.

Their unknowable future blooming before them.

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