Friday, December 30, 2005

The Picture I'd Like To Have Seen

Another exercise from the Cordoba Society: Compare an actual family picture to one that was never taken but might have been. Describe them in detail.

Worn from a lifetime's work, ebony hands
cradle a smooth-skinned baby against a starched white shirt.
Steel-wool head bends close to downy black,
laugh lines drawn deeper by soft smile.
On the frame: "Congratulations, Grandpa."

It wasn't meant to be.
You never lived to see your sons with wives.
Instead, this photograph:

sons and grandkids gather at your grave
in summer suits and dark-colored dresses,
in-laws in a solemn circle round us.
We laid Grandma beside you and told her goodbye
and I hoped, later, that you'd heard us too.

No comments: