Marks Family Feble

NaPoWiMo Assignment Day 12 - Spend a few moments examining an old photograph—a found image, a photo from childhood, an iconic shot from history—and give it a title. Then put the photo aside and write a poem using this title.

Marks Family Fable

All three women on the front row
sport, hats and elegant fur muffs,
their well-appointed clothing and faces
seem not to reflect the days my Mother speaks of.
The two men on the front row attired with vests and ties
under their suits, everyone with button-shoes
peeking from long skirts and trouser legs
The five younger men in the back row
also dressed in suits, white shirts, ties and label pins,
the one younger women in the back row seems
almost out-of-place yet something in her face
reminds me of my Mother’s younger photographs.
On the left and on the right
are two more men, cut from other photos,
pasted, like an after-thought, onto this old yellowed picture.
The one on the left is my grandfather,
vest, tie, label pin, watch chain showing
between open jacket lapels.
This is not the man I remember,
the drawn sunken face and white hair,
peeling apples on the porch swing of an unpainted house,
Yet I wonder, watching this still-life on another day.
Where is the poverty my Mother dwells on?
These are well postured, bright-eyed, proud people.
How much later did the shadow of her recollection
cross these lives?
What is fact and what is fiction?