Posts Tagged ‘photo’

We sit on the carpet in the entry,
and Vivian balances her ring
on the head of the cat and
for a long time we stay like this,
speaking of school and friends
The phone doesn’t ring.
The texts don’t chime.
The afternoon light
seems to hold each thing in its place
like photo corners in a scrapbook
and minutes stretch into forever.
There is a wholeness to the moment
so perfect I almost try to escape it.
Instead I stay and fall deeper
into the pages of this simple story.
A girl. A mother. A cat. An afternoon.
The certainty there’s nowhere else to be.

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My son is wearing a black cardboard hat
with a golden tassel for kindergarten graduation.
He still has all his baby teeth, and his grin
is full of gaps and pride. He’s carrying
a yellow dandelion as if it’s a prize.
I love you, I say to the boy in the picture.
I love you, I say to the boy in my heart.

There are some who live their whole lives
without ever knowing they are loved.
Staring at his photo, I take comfort
in knowing he knew. Though his life was short,
though the world was too much,
here’s a picture of a boy
who knew he was loved.

Later that day, we went to the fair
and I followed him through fun house mirrors.
We slid on gray carpets down carnival slides
and he threw darts to hit balloons.
Later that night, I would have tucked him into bed,
sung him his song, kissed his head
and told him I was glad to be his mom.

I am still glad, eleven years later,
to be his mom. Knowing all that I know
about how he will grow and how he will hurt
and how he will go, I’ve never loved him more.
I open like a dandelion as I stare
at the photo of the ripening boy,
this boy I’m still getting to know.

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Tonight I stare at the photo
of you and me and the cat
and the wooden train tracks
and I can’t stop marveling how
your head angles so neatly
into my shoulder, how my
body angles so easily into
yours. And I see how, even
now, after you’re gone,
I am still angling toward you,
my whole self somehow
defined by the space
where you’ve been. Today,
someone asked if it
was too hard to think
of the happy memories.
No. I love them. And I love,
impossibly, the hardest
of memories, too. It is
so easy now to love
the all of you. Remember
how many times we built
those wooden tracks?
And then pulled them apart,
only to build them again?
What isn’t a teacher for love?
Even then we were learning
about dead ends. Even then
we were learning how things
circle, how things change.

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