Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I hold the large black and white picture in my palms,
my arms spread
to accommodate for its size and fragility
The worn edges crumble lightly, sending a cascade
of history, battered and yellowed, to the floor
I stare through water stains at a young man, unsmiling
he wears the garb of a World War One soldier,
all creases and wool, leggings and boots
his right hand rests on the edge an ornate table
his left hand hangs at his side, fingers drawn
a single ring adorns his left hand
one his sleeve, two chevrons point to the floor
a single ribbon sits atop his pocket
he bears no name tag
the image conceals his height
he is young and slender
his hair closely shorn on his skull
his expression reveals nothing
no anger, pride or humor
he stares ahead
with a Mona Lisa expression
not a smile, not quite serene

I stare at the man
I can see my father’s eyes
but all resemblance ends there
this man is a stranger
that lived with us for the final
few years of his life
as a frail old man
he would walk everyday
and get lost in the neighborhood
we’d try to help, my brothers and I
by pointing him in the right direction
when he went astray
but he got angry at us on our bikes

the young man in the photo is a stranger
like the old man who lived with us
like my father
the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, they say
I hope that someday
when someone holds a tattered
yellowed picture of me
they will see a familiar
a family member
a relative
and someone will share a story
or an anecdote, or a smile
and I will be something more

1 comment:


i will think of u as a great dad and an awsome person, you will never be a stranger to me. i love the detail!