Poem of the Month: Old Photos








See how she leans into him
as if the room were slightly tilted
and she had curved her body to meet it
hiding from him the angle at which she lives
and here, again, with all the children
she leans, this time away
keeping her secret balance
making it look easy
like a ballerina on a wooden toe

He stands firm, peers straight ahead
feet set apart like a soldier at ease
he does not need to touch her
to know she is there
careful furniture in a blind man’s house
his wide-legged pose lurks steady, still
like an intake of breath
or the eye of a storm

They face the camera here with tired smiles
cast in dim light
the lens yawns too long
reaching for them
and blurs her hand
in some small gesture
he refuses to notice
her eyes slide toward the curtained window
just at the edge of the frame


“Old Photos” was published in the anthology Autumn Harvest by Quill Books, Bristol, IN, 2001.

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