When I look at the photograph of myself— an infant in my mother’s arms—
I recognize my usual expression: that solemn stare,
that vague air of melancholy under the fuzzy knitted hat.
My pale mother is a stranger though. She could never have been that young,
and as far as I know she never knit anything.
It’s all there: the darkness that will take me, the cancer that will take her.
In another picture, unsmiling on a swing, I pump into the future,
my mother already a shadow– dark silhouette just out of sight.
Photographs—those expert witnesses— are potent as dreams the moment of waking.
I close the album and put it in a drawer,
the one that sticks and is seldom opened.