Backyard scene (a poem)

After watching the digitized film my mom had saved since 1964…

You never looked happy like that before—
well, since

I don’t know how to phrase the observation
coming as it does
after the fact

I know nothing but what came after
and then only in glimpses
and filling in blanks
and an anecdote or two
out of nowhere

How can it be
you were never like that again?

What made you stop trying?

What made you refuse joy?

What made you save that tiny reel
you’d never see again?

Did you know you’d never see it again?

I can’t reconcile what I just saw
with what I’ve always known

I can see that’s you
but she’s nothing like you

I don’t know how you lived like that
how you found your way through

(25 October 2019)



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