The Photograph: A Poem

The Photograph
Erin Kroll

I am just a faded memory
In this room on this wall
Where the old couple
Waits for the milk to curdle
In sitting tea

Once a lady and a gentleman
They wrinkle like leaves
That anticipate autumn
To carry winter quickly
To the windows

Along with the contrabands of time

I watch them

He rarely raises his voice
or face from the articles of
Yesterday’s news

She is more refined
Hums the hours away
Knitting wool
Composing into form
At her feet
To warm her generations
To feed her endless tree

Somehow I sustain them
Draw them into my
Backwards world of
Silver and fingerprints

I am their guardian
Their capsule
A sea-side summer
Of elastic youth
Their moment frozen
in black pastel

I am the story they
have to tell but can’t,
but won’t reveal that
In me the milk stays fresh
And tea is rich
as amber hair
Now gray in the
shadow of winter

So I hold them
With my perspective
In my realism
Because if winter takes
them this time
I will have no
purpose to smile.

Journal Comments

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