a photo of my parents
(to Mary Walters)
I forgot some of the ways they looked,
one comes to me in the mail
from a stranger, a photo found
in her late aunt’s belongings.
He is, as always, confident,
a man who could strut standing still
(whatever doubts he must have had,
he conquered or hid away).
She looks intelligent and weary,
her smile a small flame above
the candle of the body that kept
betraying her to an early death.
They are richly attired, pausing
before they dined at the resort hotel
(I remember the place, and the nights
which held this vanished evening)
to send me an unwritten note
saying, “This is how we looked
one night when we were loving
your sister and you. Remember.”
The pages of the past
burn and unfurl, and seem
always about to vanish.
The drawer spills over.
JBMulligan has had poems and stories in several hundred
magazines, including recently, Angle, Muse, riverbabble,
Doorknobs & Bodypaint, and Gone Lawn, has had two chapbooks
published: The Stations of the Cross and THIS WAY TO THE EGRESS,
and has appeared in multiple volumes of the anthology,
Reflections on a Blue Planet as well as the anthology,
Inside/Out: A Gathering Of Poets.