Saturday, August 15, 2009

Photograph of My Mother as a Young Girl

Photograph of My Mother as a Young Girl  by Dana Gioia

She wasn't looking
when they took this picture:
sitting on the grass
in her bare feet
wearing a cotton dress,
she stares off to the side
watching something on the lawn
the camera didn't catch.
What was it?
A ladybug? A flower?
Judging from her expression,
possibly nothing at all,
or else
the lawn was like a mirror,
and she sat watching herself,
wondering who she was
and how she came to be there
sitting in this backyard,
wearing a cheap, white dress,
imagining that tomorrow
would be like all her yesterdays,
while her parents chatted
and watched, as I do
years later,
too distantly to interfere.

"Photograph of My Mother as a Young Girl" by Dana Gioia, from Daily Horoscope. (c) Graywolf Press, 1986.

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