The Photograph (a poem)

The Photograph (a poem)

Photo credit: Jaan John Sotnik

This eerie building no longer stands,

Except in a picture I hold in my hand.

Ruinous walls that once were white, its roof with holes that allow the light

To pool on grass and dust and brick, where beetles scuttle and spiders quick.

Who lived here upon a time, I question simply, one more time?

A lady stands in front, her arm

Around a young boy, with appealing charm,

And a little girl too, no more than ten.

She smiles into the camera lens.

The photo, circa seventy-two? My family went to see the view

of the beach below, the waves so high, thrusting forward, back, to justify

The salty air and sky so blue,

The sun ablaze, a golden hue.

I found a shell there, in the sand,

But this eerie building no longer stands.

This eerie building no longer stands,

In its place a restaurant, much in demand

Fresh shellfish from the sea below, and waiters scuttle to and fro.

Red velvet seats where diners whisper, music flows, light as a whisker.

The son too is gone, in another place.

He fought his battle with such little grace;

Assumptions kept but barely outed, and secret thoughts that fair amounted

To shame and guilt, which could not fly, instead became a lullaby.

The mother, dear, was rich in love

But sore and bitter, too much to prove.

When fate it took a lengthy turn, which challenged her from stem to stern

She also took a journey there, and with her tale of her love affair.

The only one standing left to see

Just me, a daughter with a memory

of heart and soul, it was sorrow-free

And there, existing, as if in my hand.

But this eerie building no longer stands.

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