Thursday, July 25, 2013

can you tell me

can you tell me who all these people are
     where they come from, where they're going?
          can you tell me who is sitting and who
               is standing, posing for the camera?

we sit on the edge of the bed beside
     the window overlooking the lawn, the dunes
          the sea, the white curtains fluttering in the salt air.
               he takes the 8x10 from my hand and is silent

remembering, recalling the blood ties
lives frozen behind the glass.

a little smile and then these are my parents indicating
     with his finger an attractive old couple in the center,
          and these are my sisters and brothers
               at this point he gives them names—his parent's children

and the children's children. the newest ones
aren't even in the picture—the children's children's children.

(it is for one of the newest ones
that some of us gather in the big old house
by the sea to celebrate a one year birthday.)

i replace the frame on the dresser
     and we leave the quiet of the room
          and plunge again into the motion, the heat
               the fine noise that humans make

and marvel at the size of this ordinary clan
     this wealth in sheer numbers
          like the swish, the swoon of the depths, the vast
               untamed blueness caressing multitudes of dolphins and fish

we enter into the unbearable, the improbable
     the unexplainable wonder of it
          the weight that keeps us, presses us
               that holds us in place.

1 comment:

Leonora said...

I love this contrast of family caught still in the frame and then put into motion outside the room.

In my parents' home there is a room where the walls are covered in family photographs. It's easy to lose myself in time when I enter that room.