As an adolescent I would finger
the belongings my sister left
behind. Boxes brimmed to their
corrugated edges with photo albums.
110mm memories mounted on crusted
adhesive. Snapshots of Teddy
and Gary basking like beefsteak
on the flat rocks that line the Delaware
River. Their eyes weighted with weed.
15 years and 3,000 miles later,
I return to find my own photos
niched next to the crates of Christmas
ornaments. Forgotten like a bastard boy.
Their plastic pages protect memories
of dally days--Judy and Rose, eyes
and smirks stewed with Smirnoff, slump
on the couch, beer bottles high
in salute. Rose is not wearing underwear.
Her denimed crotch is damp.
In the family room, my parents,
like beacons, watch made-for-TV
movies and cooking shows. On the wall
hangs a photograph of me at 12 years old.
Plump cheeks and tired eyes.
Confused smile and simple stare.
Captured like the other
ghosts in the attic.
poem and photo copyright Robert P. Langdon