Two Photographs

Here you sit, smiling, on the old Ford.

Behind you the cracks in the rickety stairs
Spread to the house - it’s not a shack,
Though some have called it that.
The trees are leafless skeletons of their warmer selves.

There is no sun, but the day is clear.

It is your father’s car – his ’58 Fairlane.
He loved that car.
Almost as much as he loved you.
You’re six maybe seven here, the baby.

Your brothers are with you.
The three of you on the back of that car, smiling.

No one’s around.
It looks cold.

Here you sit, smiling, on the old Ford.

Beside you a tear fragments this facsimile
Of your smiling face.
Your image is hazy here, uneven.
The house and the trees are beyond the frame.

Your brothers aren’t here anymore.
Maybe they caught the train to Memphis.
Maybe they went off to war,
Or off to marry, or just off.

Maybe they fell through that tear you sit by now.
It doesn’t matter, because they aren’t here anymore.

Still you smile.
Why are you smiling?

What is it you see
That I cannot?

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