Old photographs are kept in kodak envelopes
in boxes beneath the bed; paper with tinged
edges – that one time in the garden, my brother’s
brown eyes, a Bratz birthday cake and a water fight,
& my divorced parents’ wedding. I keep them
to not keep them.
I do not wish to display them
in the shadows of a passing day, dust
collecting about their frames. In fact,
I do not display any photographs and
I suppose I should believe this is selfish.
But, I read faces like books and in so few words
on silent paper, I see guilt, disappointment
and obligation. I see love posed for shutter seconds
and smiles which will fade with age.
In life I see death and in death I see life.
I guess what I mean is, photographs remind me
of endings and goodbyes;
they remind me how most things
are irretrievable with time, like the innocence
in my brother’s brown eyes.
Poem: © Kristiana Reed 2020
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