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Author seated on right bench, wearing red and white pinafore. Poem published in Absolute anthology, Oklahoma City Community College 2016

“Try to pass ten thousand years in one thought.”

— Zen Master Shih Shaung


I open the picture album

and let myself into my ghost,

a girl of nine, all knees

and elbows, twirling

a silver baton.


Mom dances the Irish reel.

My new puppy circles

inside the basket, a present

from grandparents settled

on our sofa. Seated

beside them, a frown

pinches Mother’s forehead.


I listen to pictures

voice their events:

thunder bangs its fist

on our house like

an angry father,

sister’s melody

lures light through

our bedroom window.


My hand swings the door

wide to open and closed

faces, family secrets and

songs scattered on the page

like seed. Seed that sprouts

and spreads or withers and

dies on the trail of my life.


I finger bare pages,

picture events wandering

a desert, lost and forgotten.

Release me from this mountain

where I view time running

for miles. Help me remember

what growing up feels like

by inches. Witness the hand

of this moment glue the

broken doll in my arms.


— t. l. cummings

Photo taken by Fran Carlson.


3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Anne Henderson #


    Liked by 1 person

    January 9, 2017
  2. bethanyk #

    Wow poignant and moving

    Liked by 1 person

    October 1, 2017

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