The challenges of the Now
The 70 faces book tour goes to Galesburg!

The Photographer Says (Big Tent Poetry, Jan. 24 prompt)

The author, age 2 or so.






Hold still, little sister
turn your head to the side
like a bird who hears bells

while you contemplate jump-rope
let me catch the dapple of sun
on your one lace-topped sock

in sturdy white Oxfords
you have the run of the nest
the coop we're fixing to fly

(there's a kibbutz in my future
bunk beds and instant coffee
citrus trees and Israeli girls)

but you have bears embroidered
on your clean corduroy knees
you won't be lonely

This week's prompt at Big Tent Poetry invites us to find a photograph taken by someone else, and write a poem in the voice (real or imagined) of that photographer speaking to their subject. I chose a photograph of me; I think it was taken by one of my older brothers, but I'm not sure! And anyway, this narrator's voice is not my brother's, exactly, though it does draw a bit on some details of so-called "real life."

I don't know whether other parents out there have experienced this, but I find that looking at my own baby photos and photos of early childhood is a different experience now than it used to be before I had a kid. Maybe it's that I have more sense, now, of what it was like to be one of the adults tasked with caring for me in those early years.

I'm still feeling somewhat in-limbo, creatively, but I'm doing my best to surf the waves of unknowing and to let myself write poems without becoming attached to what their eventual outcome might be.

Here's a link to this week's "Come One, Come All" post so you can see what others did with this prompt!