Photograph, by Marg Walker

Photograph
by Marg Walker

You stand before the mirror holding me
to your cheek, my blanket bunched
against your flowered dress. My eyes
are bright, adoring, as daughters all begin.

This is a time before memory, when being held
was enough, a time before I knew of words
and needed them. But here it is in grainy black and white:
you loved me too, and just as helplessly.

If only you had not been so afraid
to lose yourself in us, I think you would have found
— oh beloved field general —
our terms of surrender dear.

Turning toward me in the end, you asked me
to guard your unprotected flank, take care
of death’s details, then find my own way home.
It must be here, in these old photographs

for even as I gave you what you asked
you would not speak of love, a thing
too holy to be reduced to words (was it?)
too intimate and strange for comfort (yes).

Marg Walker is a life long writer and student of poetry who is especially drawn to lyrical work with a strong story to tell. Her poems have appeared in Wilderness House Literary Review, Page and Spine, ArtWord Quarterly, The Minnesota Monthly, and Cairns Art Journal.

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